An El Paso man was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for coercion and enticement of a minor.

According to court documents, on August 25, 2021, Eduardo Lara Jr., 24, pleaded guilty to one count of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. By pleading guilty, Lara admitted that he engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old on at least two occasions in El Paso in February and March 2020. In March 2021, the parents of the minor reported the child missing. It was later determined that Lara took the child to Mexico where he engaged in sexual activity with the child over the course of several days. Lara further admitted that he sent the child sexually explicit photographs via a social media application and requested such photographs in return.

Lara has remained in custody since his arrest on April 17, 2020.

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“This case epitomizes every parent’s worst nightmare. A cyber predator befriended and manipulated a child into running away with him,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “We have a mandate to protect the children in our community from criminals that want to harm them. Today’s sentence reflects this office’s dedication to that mandate.”

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and our law enforcement partners, successfully took another child predator off the streets,” said Taekuk Cho, Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI El Paso. “This sentence exemplifies the commitment of HSI to identify, apprehend, and prosecute those individuals who engage in coercing and enticing minors via the internet.”

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HSI, with invaluable assistance from the El Paso Police Department and Customs and Border Protection, investigated the case.