Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Woodlands Man Charged In OnLine Sex Bust

Huston, US -- A Woodlands man and three other men accused of using Internet chat rooms, including the popular MySpace.com, to solicit sex with underage girls were arrested in a two-week undercover sting, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

The attorney general's Cyber Crimes Unit,with help from the Shenandoah Police Department, arrested the men last week after they showed up at a pre-arranged location in Shenandoah to meet with a teenage girl for sex. The men unwittingly set up the dates with an undercover investigator posing as a 13- and 14-year-old girl.

One man traveled 500 miles from Oklahoma and another man brought a gun and rope restraints, investigators said.

Arrested in the sting were William Noel Shrum, 25, of The Woodlands; Guadalupe ''Wally" DeLaGarza, III, 26, of College Station; Robert Wayne Ramirez, 40, of Needville; and Calvin Hoddy Hannah, Jr., 51, of Owasso, Okla.

Shrum was arrested July 13 after he tried to meet a 13-year-old girl, investigators said. Shrum, a night maintenance worker at a Woodlands church, was charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor.

DeLaGarza and Ramirez were both arrested July 18. Investigators said DeLaGarza was taken into custody after he showed up at the meeting spot with condoms, a digital camera, rope restraints and a handgun. The Texas A&M graduate student was charged with attempted sexual assault and unlawful carrying of a weapon, investigators said.

Ramirez, long-haul truck driver, drove his 18-wheeler to the meeting location and was arrested on charges of attempted sexual assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor, investigators said.

Investigators arrested Hannah on July 19, after he drove 480 miles from Owasso, Okla., a suburb of Tulsa. He stayed overnight in Huntsville before coming to Shenandoah to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, investigators said. He also was charged with attempted sexual assault on a child and online solicitation of a minor.

Attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child is second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Attempted sexual assault of a child is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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