Rio Grande Valley (KFXV) — A former federal agent was arrested after using Craigslist to entice an underage girl to engage in sexual activities.
Thirty-six-year-old, Jeremy David McCauley was arrested in January and recently pleaded guilty to attempting to transfer obscene material to an individual under 16 years of age — via Craigslist.
The criminal complaint states that McCauley communicated through email with undercover agents — that he believed to be a woman and her 13-year-old daughter — during the exchanges, McCauley arranged to meet the minor to have sex.
McCauley is a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and was detained as part of an undercover operation by the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigations Task Force.
“Because of the close proximity to Mexico, these cases are coming through, and these children are coming through the Valley, possibly being transported up north. Possibly to Houston and other larger areas and so forth,” said Commander David Osborne with the Harlingen Police Department.
The task force is composed by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations and local law enforcement agencies. The cases are then evaluated by Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, like Monica’s and Maggie’s House which looked into an estimated 25 cases a week, just last month.
“There have been at least 100 investigations opened by cps or law enforcement in regards to child abuse,” said Gabrielle Garcia, Communications Outreach Coordinator.
McCauley faces one count of enticement of a child.
The task force also uses popular platforms and other online sites to track down predators.
“If you’re accessing social media or any kind of visual media, whether it may be someone you saw online, or a discover that somebody sent you on the mail, having that possession is a crime, viewing that is a crime,” add Osborne.
McCauley is expected to be back for his sentencing on September.
In Texas, most of the offenses involving children are considered felonies.