Police Say Child Porn Suspect, 17, Enrolled in Sixth Grade to Find Victims

Police

Police in the Texas town of Hurst have taken two men into custody for possessing child pornography. An affidavit filed in the case indicates that one of the men arrested is a 17-year-old who, pretending to be a sixth grader, enrolled at Hurst Hills Elementary School in order to find possible victims.

After receiving a tip from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in June regarding a photo that had been posted which showed what appeared to be a man and a boy engaged in a sexual act, police executed a search warrant on the Forth Worth home of 28-year-old Randy Ray Wesson. The search yielded substantial evidence of child pornography. That discovery led them to Wesson’s housemate, Ricardo Javid Lugo, 17, who was pretending to be a Police12-year-old sixth grader in order to attend the elementary school.

In order to enroll at the school, Lugo provided false documents. Spokesperson Judy Ramos of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District assured the public that all necessary procedures had been followed by staff when Lugo registered in August. She added that school workers were given no reason to believe that the documents presented by Lugo had been forged or that he was over the age of an elementary school student, and that Lugo’s behavior had raised no red flags with staff. Ramos also said that Wesson had acted as the father of Lugo.

PoliceIn the arrest affidavit, which was obtained by NBC 5, police say that Wesson allegedly told detectives that he possessed about 42,000 images of child pornography on various types of digital storage devices. Police say that he also confessed to having sexually abused over 100 children ranging in ages from seven to 14, and was able to identify some of them by name.

The affidavit also reveals that after searching Lugo’s cell phone, police discovered pictures depicting schoolchildren which had been taken over a course of two days in Aug. 2014. It is unclear if the images of the children are illegal, but one of the children in the photos also appears in a video which was discovered on the phone in which Lugo spanks the child.

The phone also contained messages between Lugo and Wesson which appear to show that Lugo actively recruited children from the school to serve as victims for both of the men. In one message, Lugo tells Wesson that he saw the penis of one of the children and that he had instructed others to keep silent about the abuse. He even details how he followed some children home in order to find out where they lived.

The school district sent a letter to the parents of all six graders enrolled at Hurst Hills Elementary School to encourage them to have a conversation with their children regarding the events at the school. Unfortunately, school officials are unsure of the number of victims and whether the victims were even students at Hurst Hills.

Wesson and Lugo met each other on Instagram. After Wesson drove to Lugo’s El Paso home in order to meet him in person, the two began a sexual relationship. Police were able to locate Lugo’s mother in El Paso, where she told them that her son had disappeared six months before. He was removed from the school on Tuesday by Child Protective Services.

When contacted by NBC 5, Wesson’s parents declined to make a statement about their son, who is now in the custody of federal investigators. Wesson’s case will be prosecuted by the U. S. Attorney. He is being held under bond of $3 million and is charged with possession of child pornography with the intent to distribute, the display and/or sale of harmful materials and tampering of government record. Lugo is being held with a bond of $250,000 and faces charges of child pornograpy. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has set up of a hotline for persons who may have been a victim of Wesson and Lugo.

By Jennifer Pfalz

Sources:
NBC 5
ABC 7
WFAA

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