Undercover investigation results in coercion of a minor arrest

When a Harlingen man arrived at a location where he expected to have sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl, the feds arrested him.

A Homeland Security Investigations special agent working with the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force arrested Daniel Santos Jr. in Harlingen Monday after an undercover investigation resulted in a coercion and enticement of a minor charge against the man.

The HSI agent who participated in the undercover online enticement investigation took on the persona of a 12-year-old girl on a cellphone app called Whisper, where users share photos and videos and send messages anonymously.

The agent created a post on June 27 that read “boys ugh!” and a user called “Freakin Rican,” who investigators say is Santos, began communicating with the agent, according to the criminal complaint, which states that Santos acknowledged on multiple occasions that he thought he was talking to a 12-year-old girl, continuing to have sexually explicit conversations.

Authorities say Santos communicated with the agent on a daily basis.

According to the criminal complaint, Santos told investigators after his arrest that he traveled to the location in Harlingen with the intent to have sexual contact with a child.

Santos made a first appearance Tuesday and is being held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Friday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan.