TYLER, Texas (KETK)- A Tyler man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for online solicitation of a minor.
A Smith County jury sentenced Ruben Hernandez Contreras, Tyler, on Wednesday.
According to court documents back in October of 2018, agents of the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted an investigation where undercover agents posed as a 15-year-old girl online and responded to solicitations from Contreras to meet her for the purpose of having sexual contact.
Over the course of a few hours, Contreras specifically stated his intent to have sex with the 15-year-old girl through his online chats with the undercover agent. After agreeing to meet the girl at a location in Tyler for the purpose of having sex, Contreras arrived in his Ford truck. Undercover agents identified Contreras as the one involved in the online chat, stopped the vehicle, and arrested him.
Contreras’s phone was seized as evidence and analyzed. Evidence in his phone revealed that Contreras had deleted the messaging application used to chat with the undercover officer. There were also many pornographic images on the phone consistent with the sexually explicit chatting.
Contreras admitted to chatting with the undercover agent with the intent to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex. He also admitted that he had received pornographic material from underage girls in previous chats, but had never had the courage to show up to a meet until that day.
Online Solicitation of a Minor has a punishment range of 2 years to 20 years in prison with the possibility of probation. Contreras had never before been convicted of any crime and was eligible for probation.
Other local agencies that assisted DPS, in this case, were the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, the Tyler Police Department, the Longview Police Department, as well as federal agents.