COPPERAS COVE, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday morning that his office's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking units, in a partnership with the Copperas Cove Police Department, arrested five men for online solicitation of a minor and one man for prostitution during a three-day operation to locate and arrest online predators.
The suspects arrested were:
- Josef James Dilly, 31, of Copperas Cove, arrested Nov. 20, on one count of online solicitation of a minor.
- Victor Manuel Vascot, 45, of Killeen, arrested Nov. 20, on one count of online solicitation of a minor.
- Isaac Figueroa Jr., 28, of Round Rock, arrested Nov. 21, on one count of online solicitation of a minor.
- Justin Earl Kepler, 31, of Lampasas, arrested Nov. 21, on one count of online solicitation of a minor.
- Jesse Franklin Quidachay, 37, of Copperas Cove, arrested Nov. 21, on one count of online solicitation of a minor.
- Demerick Deon Hearne, 47, of Copperas Cove, arrested Nov. 20, on one count of prostitution.
All of the men arrested were transferred to the Coryell County Jail.
“The grotesque targeting of children is a nationwide issue, and this serves as a reminder that our communities must remain vigilant to protect the most vulnerable from exploitation,” Paxton said in a press release. “I thank the hard-working investigators with my office’s Child Exploitation Unit and Human Trafficking Unit, and the brave police officers of Copperas Cove Police Department for stopping these child-predators from potentially harming more innocent children.”
Paxton’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down online predators. Since its inception, the Child Exploitation Unit has made 264 arrests and obtained 194 convictions on charges of online solicitation of a minor.
In the release, Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their safety.
If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography, you can report it to NCMEC.
For more information on cyber safety, go to texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/.