Vela communicated with law enforcement agents who were acting in an undercover capacity, according to information presented in court. The law enforcement agents represented that they were a minor female who was available for sexual activity for a price, the news release stated.
Vela agreed to pay for sex with the minor female and was apprehended by law enforcement, the release stated.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, the release stated.
Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case was investigated by the Longview Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Griffith.