ONLY ON 13: Sex offender arrested, found working for kids charity

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Sex offender arrested, Kevin Quinn reports.

He's a convicted sex offender and was working for a non-profit charity which collects items for needy children.

What's more, investigators say 55-year-old Johnny Lee Hidrogo was trying to meet another child for sex.

Deputies arrested Hidrogo on March 31 while he worked at the "Fite-N-Chance" Children's Foundation donation center near the Southwest Freeway on Crabb River Road in Fort Bend County. The station is nestled between two neighborhoods and less than a mile from an elementary school.

"He was communicating with a child and expressed the intent to engage in sexual contact," said Fort Bend Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jarret Nethery.

Investigators say the alleged crime did not occur at that location where Hidrogo worked.

Eyewitness News has learned this was not Hidrogo's first arrest for attempting to prey on a child. In fact, in 2010 he was convicted on two counts of indecency with a child. He exposed himself to two girls, aged 9 & 11, according to the Texas DPS sex offender registry. He was on probation at the time of this most recent arrest and now stands accused also of online solicitation of a minor.

"This needs to be away from here," said grandparent Kathy Jones, who lives nearby.

Hidrogo is required to register as a sex offender every year. But somehow, Sand Dollar Thrift Stores , which runs the collection site and sells the items donated, didn't know about the conviction. His boss, Danny Riggins, says Hidrogo had worked for Sand Dollar in 2007 or 2008, prior to his indecency conviction.

"I didn't have any reason not to re-hire him," said Riggins when Hidrogo came back for a job following his conviction and release.

Riggins admits not doing a background check of any kind before hiring Hidrogo a second time.

"You would assume, If you're giving things for kids, You would do some kind of a background check. I mean I can do it on my phone," said parent and nearby resident Dan Laurie.

The owner of "Fit-N-Chance", L.E. Fight, claims he had no idea about Hidrogo's arrest or prior conviction.

Hidrogo remains behind bars at the Fort Bend County Jail. Neither he nor his attorney were willing to comment.
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