A 17-Year-Old Allegedly Enrolled In the sixth grade To Recruit Child Porn Victims
Buzzfeed | November 21, 2014
A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of posing as a sixth-grader at an elementary school in Texas, where he allegedly tried to recruit child porn victims.
Officials took Ricardo Javid Lugo into custody while he was attending class at Hurst Hills Elementary School, police said. The man he was allegedly working with, 28-year-old Randy Ray Wesson, was arrested at his home in nearby Fort Worth, where authorities said they discovered a large amount of child pornography.
According to Ricardo's arrest affidavit obtained by local NBC affiliate, KXAS-TV, detectives said Wesson told investigators they would find roughly "42,000 child pornography images on his computer, thumb drive, phone and SD cards." Wesson also allegedly admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children between the ages of 7 and 14.
The arrests shocked school administrators and parents, who questioned how a 17-year-old was able to enroll in an elementary school and go unnoticed as a sixth-grader for roughly three months.
According to Hurst Hills police, Wesson then enrolled Ricardo as a 12-year-old at Hurst Hills Elementary using forged paperwork. While at school, the teen allegedly used a cell phone to communicate with Wesson about his classmates, conversations authorities say were intended to target potential victims.
They were eventually caught based on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Hills Hurst police said.
Wesson faces a number of charges, including possession with intent to promote child pornography, sale/display of harmful material, and tampering with governmental records. He was transferred to federal custody in lieu of $3 million bail, according to police.
Ricardo, who remains in the custody of child protective services, faces one charge of possessing child pornography. He was booked on $250,000 bail, police said.
Hurst Hills investigators, meanwhile, said they expect to find additional victims in the region as they continue their investigation.