Category Archives: TX Attorney General

TX AG Unit Arrest 29 Most Wanted

.jpg photo of man arrested for child sex assault
Juan Gabriel Herrera, 43

AG Paxton’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit Reaches New Milestone with
10,000 Total Arrests

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today commended the Fugitive Apprehension Unit of his office for reaching a major milestone since its inception in 2003.

Earlier this week, the unit – working jointly with the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force – achieved its 10,000th arrest with the capture of 43-year-old Juan Gabriel Herrera.

The undocumented illegal immigrant from Mexico was wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

“This major milestone is a testament to our Fugitive Apprehension Unit’s hard work and dedication.  These courageous law enforcement officers have successfully arrested 10,000 fugitives and provided invaluable protection for Texans,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “I am proud of the bravery and valor they demonstrate every day while keeping Texas strong, safe and just.”

Among the arrests made by the Fugitive Apprehension Unit are 29 dangerous criminals on the Texas DPS Top Ten Most Wanted List.

The Fugitive Apprehension Unit includes 22 investigators, three criminal analysts, two administrative assistants and a five-person command staff who operate in regional offices in Austin, Houston and Arlington.

The unit’s mission is to locate and arrest violent fugitives, convicted child sex offenders who violate conditions of their parole, and to arrest sex offenders who fail to comply with the state’s mandated sex offender registration requirements.  It also assists in locating missing and endangered runaway children reported by local law enforcement agencies to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

To learn more about the Criminal Investigations Division and its efforts to keep Texans safe, visit the attorney general’s website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/criminal-investigations

For more information about protecting your children online visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety

TX AG And CA AG Instrumental In Stopping Backpage

.jpg photo of graphic about Seizure of Backpage.com and affiliated websites
Everyone affiliated with BackPage.com profitted off the misery and death of untold numbers of young women, men, and Children.

Investigation by AG Paxton’s Office Helps
Shut Down Backpage.com

AUSTIN, TX  –  In his office’s continued push to end human trafficking in Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Backpage.com, the largest online sex trafficking marketplace in the world, is permanently shut down.

Backpage operated in 97 countries and 943 locations worldwide.  Attorney General Paxton published a statement available on YouTube.

The seizure and takedown of the Backpage website was accomplished through a collaborative law enforcement effort involving Attorney General Paxton’s office, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of Arizona and Central District of California, and the California Attorney General’s office.

In October 2016, Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage, was arrested in Houston by officers from Attorney General Paxton’s Law Enforcement Division in a joint operation with the California attorney general’s office.  A search of the company’s Dallas headquarters uncovered a treasure trove of evidence that was critical to the investigation.

“Backpage generated millions of dollars annually on the backs of innocent women and children who were forced or coerced into sex trafficking,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “Taking down this despicable website will undoubtedly save lives and spare many others from the unspeakable horrors of sex trafficking.”

Attorney General Paxton has made combating human trafficking a top priority.

Two years ago, he launched his office’s Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime unit, which works closely with prosecutors around Texas to prosecute human traffickers.

Earlier this year, he unveiled a powerful training video to teach Texans how to spot and report suspected human trafficking activity.

View Attorney General Paxton’s statement here: https://bit.ly/2IHoE31

TX Attorney General CEU Arrest Child Sex Offender

.jpg photo of Child Predator arrested for Child Pornography
Thomas Lee Scott, 58, of Lorena Texas.

AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests
Lorena Man for Possession of Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested Thomas Lee Scott, 58, of Lorena, on two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison per charge.

Investigators discovered child pornography being shared from a device with an IP address connected to Scott’s home in Lorena.

While executing a search warrant at his home, investigators located child pornography and seized several digital storage devices that will be examined by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit.

Scott, a registered sex offender, was convicted in 1991 of child molestation in Indiana.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC

For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

RCMP E Division & TX AG LE Division Fight Child Trafficking

.jpg photo of Texas Attorney General's Law Enforcement Officers receiving Award from Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Director David Maxwell, Sergeant America Bonnet and Lieutenant Lannie Hilboldt of the Attorney General’s Criminal Investigations Division were recognized during receipt of the award.

AG Paxton’s Law Enforcement Division Receives Award from Royal Canadian Mounted Police for Efforts to Combat Sex Trafficking

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Law Enforcement Division of his office received a special award from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for partnering with its “E” Division Major Crime Unit on an investigation to stop the sex trafficking of underage girls from Canada to the United States.

Director David Maxwell, Sergeant America Bonnet and Lieutenant Lannie Hilboldt of the attorney general’s Criminal Investigations Division were recognized during receipt of the award.

Known as “Project E-Bountiful,” the collaborative law enforcement effort focused on the illegal sex trafficking activities of members of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints and their now imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs.

Investigators from Attorney General Paxton’s office seized key evidence from Jeffs’ YFZ Ranch, near Eldorado, Texas, which was crucial in subsequent successful prosecutions in Canada.

RCMP Chief Superintendent Trent Rolfe, who led the operation, conveyed his appreciation to Attorney General Paxton’s Law Enforcement Division for its “exemplary work ethic and dedication to duty . . . in keeping with the highest standards and tradition of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”

“We’re honored that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police asked for our Law Enforcement Division’s help on the investigation, and that we were able to play a role in bringing to justice the despicable individuals who were involved in the sex trafficking of innocent and vulnerable victims,” Attorney General Paxton said.

“This award is well deserved.  Texas is a safer and better place because of the hard work the men and women of our Law Enforcement Division perform every day without any expectation of recognition.”

Established in 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety Canada.  It fights terrorism, organized crime, illicit drugs and offenses that threaten the integrity of Canada’s national borders. 

TX AG HTU Stops Child Sex Trafficker

.jpg photo of Child Sex Trafficker
Domingo Gonzalez, 48, of Uvalde Texas

AG Paxton’s Human Trafficking Unit
Arrests Uvalde County Man in
Child Sex Trafficking Case

AUSTIN, TX  –  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that the Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) of his office arrested 48-year-old Domingo Gonzalez of Uvalde on a warrant for Compelling Prostitution in Bexar County.

Compelling prostitution is committed when a person knowingly causes another by force, threat or fraud to commit prostitution.

It also occurs when a person causes, by any means, a child younger than 18 to commit prostitution regardless of whether the actor knew the age of the victim when the offense occurred.

Gonzalez’s case was referred to the attorney general’s office after a 15-year-old girl was rescued from domestic sex trafficking.

During an interview with law enforcement officials, Gonzalez confessed to committing the act of prostitution, and HTU investigators discovered that the person Gonzales paid to have sex with was the 15-year-old victim in their investigation.

The Human Trafficking Unit collaborates with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to rescue individuals who are victims of labor and sex trafficking.

If you suspect human trafficking, call the attorney general’s office at 512-463-1646,
email: humantrafficking@texasattorneygeneral.gov,
or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

For more information and additional resources, visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/human-trafficking