This morning, a Bexar County Grand Jury indicted seven people arrested in a four-day undercover operation by the Bexar County District Attorney’s office, the Olmos Park Police Department and the Texas Attorney General’s Office Child Exploitation Unit in San Antonio.
During the August operation, investigators posed as minors under the age of 16 on a variety of social media platforms (Tinder, Grindr, Mocospace, SKOUT and others). All of the men arrested communicated a desire to engage in sexual activity with whom they believed were minors. Each showed up at a particular location, where they were arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor with intent to meet and engage in sexual contact, a second degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Those indicted are:
- Jason Byers, 48, of San Antonio
- Joe Feist, 68, of San Antonio
- James Pirtle, 50, of Lytle
- Michael Poblano, 43, of San Antonio
- Andrew Rivera, 32, of San Antonio
- Santiago Rodriguez, 53, of San Antonio
- Martin Villarreal, 57, of San Antonio
The cases are being prosecuted by the Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division. Other agencies that assisted in the investigations include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Air Force Office of Special Operations and the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. A person charged by indictment is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury or a judge. Because these and potentially other cases are either pending or may be under investigation, we can make no further comment on them.
Copies of indictments may be requested from the Bexar County District Clerk. Information on court settings can be found by searching the case online or directly from the court.