Two men have been arrested on charges of possession of child pornography after posing as father and son, and allegedly targeting elementary school students to recruit as child pornography victims. This is all just horrible.
17-year-old Ricardo Javid Lugo was posing as a sixth grader for roughly three months, after 28-year-old Randy Ray Wesson, pretending to be Lugo's father, forged documents (birth certificate, immunization records, and proof of residency) and enrolled Lugo at Hurst Hills Elementary. Lugo was in school using the name Matthew Drew Wesson basically on behalf of Wesson to "recruit potential victims" for child pornography.
Following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Lugo was taken into custody while attending classes, and Wesson was arrested at his Fort Worth home. KXAS-TV reports:
NBC 5 obtained Lugo's arrest affidavit on Thursday, in which detectives said Wesson "confessed that police would find approximately 42,000 child pornography images on his computer, thumb drive, phone and SD cards." Police said Wesson also admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children between the ages of 7 and 14.
Authorities also confiscated the cell phone Lugo used to communicate with Wesson about Lugo's classmates and allegedly potential child porn victims. Authorities found images of "children at school, dated Aug. 25 through 26, 2014" though it's not clear whether these images are illegal.
Documents also state a video on Lugo's cell phone dated Aug. 31, 2014, shows Lugo spanking a child who appeared in a previous photograph taken at school.
Lugo's arrest affidavit also stated that messages on the phone between Wesson and Lugo "indicate that Ricardo Lugo is recruiting possible victims from school for himself and Randy. Ricardo tells Randy about seeing one of the kids' penis. He also talks about telling other kids not to tell and having to follow them home to see where they live."
The school district stated that they contacted parents of the sixth graders at Hurst Hills, and students were sent home to a letter which "encourages parents to talk with their children, but it is also clear they don't know how many victims there are and if any of them are from the school."
Wesson allegedly met and lured Lugo on Instagram, driving to Lugo's El Paso home to pick him up. Wesson told investigators that the two were involved in a sexual relationship, and he is clearly the mastermind of this horrific scheme, using Lugo as an accomplice (not to diminish Lugo's role in this).
Wesson is being held on charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography, the sale/display of harmful materials and tampering with government records on $3 million bond—Lugo is being held on possession of child pornography on $250,000 bond.
Image via KXAS-TV.