Continuing efforts to protect Texas children from dangerous child predators, the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office arrested four men in Bell County for online solicitation of a minor during an undercover operation last week that also involved the attorney general’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit and the Bell County Sheriff’s Department.

During the collaborative law enforcement operation, the four suspects – identified as Matthew Jay Pederson, Jalil Aziz Townsend, Gerson Yonatan Paz Paz, and Kenneth Edward Ricketson – sexually solicited investigators posing as children online. They were apprehended after arriving at a predetermined location expecting to meet and engage in sexual activity with a child.  All four men were charged with a second-degree felony and booked in the Bell County Jail without incident.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online. The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources. Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety. If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC.  For more information on cyber safety, please visit: