A Tyler man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for soliciting sexual contact from a law enforcement officer posing as a 15-year-old girl online during an undercover investigation.
Ruben Hernandez Contreras, 24, was arrested Oct. 17 by the Texas Department of Public Safety after he went to a location in Tyler to meet and have sex with a person he thought was a teenage girl, according to a news release from the Smith County District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s office said DPS agents posed online as a 15-year-old girl and responded to solicitations from Contreras and agreed to meet in Tyler for the purpose of having sexual contact.
The news release said agents identified Contreras, stopped his vehicle and took him into custody when he arrived at the predetermined location.
Agents seized Contreras’s phone as evidence and found evidence Contreras deleted the messaging app he used to chat with the undercover officer. They also found pornographic images on the phone consistent with the sexually explicit chatting, according to the DA’s office.
The news release said Contreras admitted to chatting with the undercover agent with the intent to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex. He also admitted receiving pornographic material from underage girls in previous chats, but had never arranged a meeting until Oct. 17, according to the DA’s office.
Contreras faced between two years and 20 years in prison and could have been sentenced to probation because he had never been convicted for any prior crimes.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler and Longview police departments and federal agents assisted DPS. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys R. Clay Kimbrough and Elizabeth Anderson.