Immigration Officials, Crime Stoppers Team Up to Nail Child Sex Offender
by Jim Kouri, CPP
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Fort Worth, Texas Safe City Commission Crime Stoppers jointly announced the arrest of a 41-year-old convicted child sex offender who had been deported for that crime, and was also wanted for parole violations.
Hilario Soto-Hernandez, a citizen of Mexico residing in Fort Worth, was arrested by ICE officers yesterday after coordinating with Crime Stoppers and Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.
The recent investigation first started when Crime Stoppers published Soto-Hernandez’ information on its Most Wanted List July 22. ICE coordinated with Crime Stoppers and Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, and determined from ICE databases that Soto-Hernandez was a previously deported aggravated felon. The Sheriff’s Office also received an anonymous tip leading to identifying his residence and work addresses. ICE officers arrested Soto-Hernandez Aug. 1 while he was working at a restaurant in Justin, Texas.
Soto-Hernandez was originally convicted in June 1995 for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years old. According to court records, Soto-Hernandez sexually molested a 7-year-old girl repeatedly for more than six months in 1991 while she and her mother were living with him. He routinely referred to the girl as his stepdaughter. However, Soto-Hernandez also had a wife living in Mexico at the time.
Soto-Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication. He violated the terms of his parole and has been wanted since April 2004. However, he was finally deported in December 2003 after years of appealing his deportation order. Aggravated felons who reenter the United States after having been formally deported commit a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Soto-Hernandez is currently in the custody of the Tarrant County Sheriff for parole violations. The US Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas, has also accepted the case for prosecution on the charge of reentry after deportation.
“ICE is determined to make our communities safer for everyone, especially our children,” said Nuria T. Prendes, field office director of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Dallas. “ICE operates most effectively when we work with organizations such as Crime Stoppers and local law enforcement.”
“Safe City Commission Crime Stoppers is committed to working with local law enforcement agencies to provide accurate information in a timely manner,” said Rachel Chutchian, Crime Stoppers Coordinator for the Safe City Commission in Tarrant County. “The anonymous tipster will earn $1,000 simply for calling Safe City Commission Crime Stoppers with this reliable information.”
Soto-Hernandez’ arrest is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE has arrested more than 10,000 individuals, including more than 960 in Texas.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.