PORT NECHES —
Police in Port Neches are investigating a possible second case of online solicitation of a minor.
Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said that since the original arrest of a 39-year-old Edinburg man on May 30, the mother of another minor has reported a similar incident occurred to her 12-year-old son.
In both instances, the minor child was approached by a man while in the game/electronics area of a local Walmart store. And in both instances the adult struck up a conversation with the minor and obtained the minor’s cell phone number, Lemoine said.
The first alleged incident was reported to the police on May 30 regarding a 13-year-old minor who was approached by a male at Walmart on Twin City Highway and later reportedly sent the minor suspicious text messages.
The minor lives with his grandmother in Port Neches and she became aware of the text messages sent to her grandson by this stranger and alerted the police.
The suspect reportedly continued to send text messages to the minor which then became sexual in nature. Police believe and the suspect began to try to entice the minor into meeting with him.
Officers were monitoring the incoming messages and set up a sting to apprehend the suspect. The suspect, believing that he was communicating with the minor, agreed to meet with the minor at a local park in Port Neches. Officers set up surveillance and waited for the suspect to arrive. Upon the suspect’s arrival officers stopped the suspect and after speaking to him the man made a statement about texting the minor.
The second incident, which is under investigation, reportedly occurred after the male and the minor met at Walmart on Memorial Boulevard, Lemoine said.
Hector Rodriguez, 39, of Edinburg, was arrested for online solicitation of a minor and transported to the Jefferson County Jail. Bond was set at $20,000. Jail personnel said Rodriguez bonded out of jail on June 1.
Online solicitation of a minor under 14 years of age is a second degree felony.
If anyone has information about similar incidents that are asked to call either the Port Neches Police Department at 722-1424 or their local police department.
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