Thursday, April 15, 2004
Attorney General’S Fugitive, Cyber Crimes Units Reach 100-Plus Child Predator ArrestsEL PASO - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units have passed the 100 mark in the number of child sex predators taken off the streets and off the Internet in just under a year.
“Our Fugitive and Cyber Crimes investigators are making communities safer by arresting child predators before they can do more harm to our children,” Attorney General Abbott said today. “We are very proud of these accomplishments and grateful to law enforcement agencies around the state who share our commitment to making these arrests.”
The Fugitive Unit, formed last August, targets child sex offenders who violated the terms of their parole. Working with other law enforcement agencies, the Attorney General’s Fugitive investigators have arrested a total of 71 parole violators in 23 Texas counties and nine other states, three of them in Florida. Three men with El Paso ties have been arrested.
Gilberto Guerrero, 45, was arrested October 30, 2003, in Grand Prairie. With information received from acquaintances in El Paso, Fugitive Unit investigators tracked Guerrero to a Grand Prairie apartment complex where he was arrested. In 1999, Guerrero was convicted of indecency with a 15-year-old female.
Dwayne Hinson, 28, was arrested November 3, 2003, in El Paso after Fugitive Unit investigators contacted Hinson’s grandparents. Members of the unit were conducting a city-wide sweep when they urged Hinson’s grandparents to tell their grandson to turn himself in and alleviate the embarrassment of being tracked down and arrested. Shortly after that call, Hinson turned himself in to a bailiff with the 34th District Court. In 1997, Hinson was convicted of indecency with a 6-year-old female.
Scott Walker, 44, was arrested November 4, 2003. Fugitive Unit investigators targeted Walker during a November operation in El Paso and arrested the convicted child predator in the parking lot of a local restaurant. Walker was convicted in 1988 of aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old female.
The parole absconders were convicted of various sex crimes against children. Parole violations that led to their arrests included failing to report to probation officers, being absent without permission, being in locations that might allow contact with young children, and other charges.
The Cyber Crimes Unit, launched by Attorney General Abbott last May, targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms. Investigators have arrested 39 men who used teen chat rooms to arrange meetings with underage victims.
The arrests have been made when the predators drove from as far away as Houston to meet children in Central Texas. Attorney General Abbott is currently expanding Cyber Crimes investigations into other areas of the state through the use of an undercover Internet mobile computer lab.