Lubbock man caught in undercover sting now accepts plea deal for child sex crime

Local News

Image of Joe Ortiz from Lubbock Co,. Detention Center

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock man accepted a plea deal Monday for attempted enticement of a minor.

In March 2021, Joe Ortiz, 53, met someone on an online messaging forum that he believed to be a 15-year-old boy, court records showed. However he was actually chatting with an undercover officer posing as a juvenile. Ortiz was one of nine men arrested in a Texas Department of Public Safety sting operation.

Ortiz and the boy exchanged phone numbers, and Ortiz almost immediately started a sexual conversation, per court records.

He sent “graphic and explicit messages discussing his plans to engage in sexual activity with the boy he believed to be I5 years old,” a court document said. He also sent a photograph of his penis.

Ortiz made plans to meet the boy in person to have sexual activity. He was waiting for the boy in a park when police found and arrested him, according to court documents.

Ortiz admitted to a police officer that he believed the person he was chatting with was younger than 18 years old, and he planned to “hook up” with him.

His official sentencing will be determined at a later date. He will serve anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison.

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