Florida Customs Officer Charges with Online Solicitation of a Minor

May 6, 2015 by David S. Seltzer

Walter Rivera, a 29-year-old U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer who worked at Miami International Airport, was recently suspended without pay after being charged with online solicitation of a minor.

Rivera allegedly used a cellphone app to have conversations with a police detective he believed was a 15-year-old boy named James; he was arrested when he arrived at the alleged meeting place.

According to police, Rivera exchanged pictures with the detective posing as a boy and described a desire to lie next to him and "see where things go." He also offered to perform oral sex on "James."

Rivera told authorities that he reached out to the boy because he was bored and lonely. He said that he had used the app on a prior occasion to speak with a 16-year-old, but he had never met that boy in person. 

Despite the fact that Rivera had no prior criminal record, the judge used this affidavit to argue that he believed Rivera was a repeat offender. He ordered Rivera to wear an electronic ankle monitor if he was released from jail before his next court appearance.

The self-incriminating statements in Rivera's affidavit underscore how important it is for defendants to obtain legal council as soon as possible. Being arrested can be so traumatic and unsettling that people may unknowingly confess to crimes they did not even commit in an attempt to explain away the circumstances or demonstrate a cooperative attitude.

Your freedom and future may be at stake as a result of false charges of online cybercrime or solicitation. We can help. Call Seltzer Law, P.A. right now at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) for a free and confidential consultation.