Tuesday, August 9, 2005

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Abbott's Sexual Predator Units Reach 300 Arrest Milestone During North Texas Operation

DALLAS - Following a highly successful sweep in North Texas that landed 12 child sexual predators in jail, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today emphasized the importance of three programs that have now resulted in the arrests of over 300 sexual predators. Two notable border arrests made this month in cooperation with Mexican officials also demonstrate the significance of these programs.

“We have made forceful strides in protecting children from dangerous predators since I first launched the Cyber Crimes Unit in May 2003 to go after those who try to lure children over the Internet,” said Attorney General Abbott.

“Following that effort, I started the Fugitive Unit in August 2003, which acts as a dragnet to round up missing parolees who once committed sexual crimes against children. As our just-concluded roundup of predators in the Dallas/Fort Worth area shows, we must continue to pursue these felons.”

Parole Violators
Randy Bright
Kevin Langston
Thomas Cothrum
Jimmy Elser
Steven Evans
Christopher Gomez
William Gage
Howard Haynes
These convicted child sex offenders were arrested after violating their parole.

Unregistered Sex Offenders
Randy Bright
Randy Bright
Thomas Cothrum
Thomas Cothrum
Steven Evans
Steven Evans
William Gage
William Gage
These convicted sex offenders were arrested after failing to register as a sex offender.

Abbott also initiated Operation Missing Predator in April to apprehend those who fail to register as sex offenders, as required by law. Twenty-six of these offenders have been arrested.

The August 1 arrest of the 300th predator, David Eugene Acosta, 20, occurred in Eagle Pass as he made his way across the international bridge from Piedras Negras, Mexico. Acosta had been a fugitive since December 2004, failing to report to his parole officer after serving his sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2000 in Falls County.

Border Fugitives Arrested
William Gage
Alvaro De La Garza
Video of Arrest
Video of De La Garza being transferred to Fugitive Unit at border in Laredo
William Gage
David Eugene Acosta

Earlier that day in Laredo, the Fugitive Unit, supported by Mexican authorities and officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested Denton County sex offender Alvaro Delagarza, 40.

He had absconded to Monterrey, Mexico, where his parents live. Mexican authorities detained Delagarza and handed him over to the Fugitive Unit. Delagarza was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a six-year-old girl in 1987. He was paroled in August 1993 and has been at-large since May 1994.

Another notable arrest was parole fugitive Howard Earl Haynes, 37, who was arrested on August 3 at an apartment complex on South Barry Avenue in Dallas and transferred to the Dallas County Jail. Haynes was convicted of sexual assault of a six-year-old in Harrison County in 1992 and served 11 years in prison. He had been missing since June. The Fugitive Unit has arrested 215 parole violators since its inception.

Media links
Pablo Alegre
Pablo Alegre
Video of Arrest
Video of Alegre's arrest in Bastrop

To date, the Cyber Crimes Unit has made 62 arrests of individuals attempting to meet children for sex. The latest occurred on August 5 when a Fort Worth man, Pablo J. Alegre, 23, drove to Bastrop allegedly to meet a 13-year-old “girl” who turned out to be a Cyber Crimes Unit investigator impersonating a young girl in an online chat room. Alegre is charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Those arrested in the late July-early August roundup by the Fugitive Unit included:

Fugitive parole violators

• Kevin Brent Langston, 21, of Fort Worth
• Jimmy Elser, 41, of Lake Worth
• Christopher Lee Gomez, 32, of Fort Worth
• Alvaro Delagarza, 40, of Denton
• Howard Earl Haynes, 37, of Dallas

Unregistered sex offenders

• Jesse Lee Williamson, 36, of Fort Worth
• Thomas Lynn Cothrum, 21, of Fort Worth
• Randy Eugene Bright, 33, of Arlington
• Ricky Lee Smith, 49, of Forth Worth
• Steven Glenn Evans, 35, of Fort Worth
• Clarence Lee Scott, 23, of Soldotna, Alaska
• William Thomas Gage, 40, of Tucson, Arizona

To find out more about the Attorney General’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the agency’s web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.