A Corpus Christi man is headed to federal prison after he plead guilty to coercing a child into having sex with him through Instagram.
31-year-old Steven Lopez will serve nearly 13 years in federal prison, according to a release by the the U.S. Attorney's Southern District of Texas.
In July 2019, law enforcement officials learned Lopez had sexually abused a minor and eventually arrested him.
At that time, the release states, officials seized his cell phone which revealed that Lopez used social media to target a minor for the purpose of having sex.
"Lopez had also attempted to hide his criminal conduct by deleting certain messages. However, forensic analysis yielded multiple instances of incriminating content," the release states.
Lopez will serve 151 months in prison, and will then serve the rest of his life on supervised release. He will also have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.
"In imposing the sentence, the court also heard evidence that Lopez continued to communicate with minors while awaiting further criminal proceedings," the release states. "He must also register as a sex offender and pay restitution to identified victims."
Homeland Security conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department.