Detective posing as teen catches man wanting sex

Posted at 6:45 AM, Feb 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-14 14:35:17-05

An undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl on Craigslist caught a suspect red-handed earlier this month.

A "casual encounters" ad was found on the community website on Feb. 4 with the poster looking for sexual acts with a "teen", according to a police report.

The poster, identified as 49-year-old Ralph Vela, reached out to who he thought was the teenage girl and gave her an alternate email address to use to get ahold of him.

The "teen" told him she was 14 and he was okay with it.

After communicating online and through text message, Vela planned to meet the teen on Wednesday for sexual contact.

Vela gave a specific vehicle description and location to meet, which police found and watched around the meeting time, all while communicating with him via texts.

Around 1 p.m., detectives took Vela into custody and he later confirmed that he posted the ad and was planning to have sex with the teen he was talking with.

According to official documents, Vela was charged with one count of aggravated luring of a minor for sexual exploitation.