Once-fugitive posed as teen to meet girl online for sex

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A once-fugitive has learned his fate for attempting to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex on the Kik social media app.

Joshua Jones was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of online solicitation of a minor.

Montgomery County Pct. 1 deputy constables said the 36-year-old posed as an 18-year-old when he engaged in sexual conversations with what he thought was a teen girl.

RELATED: More than 60 men arrested for online solicitation of a minor

Instead, Jones unknowingly made plans to meet an investigator who was presenting herself as a child online. He was taken into custody when he arrived at their agreed meeting place.

"This case is another example of how important it is to have specially trained law enforcement officers working to make the internet safer for kids," Assistant District Attorney Chris Seufert said. "I hate to think what might have happened if (the detective) wasn't there to catch the defendant before he could get his hands on a child."

Deputy constables seized four cell phones from Jones. Forensic investigators found images of bestiality and child pornography on at least one phone, and search history revealed he had accessed multiple videos including the words "young" and "rape."

SEE ALSO: 9 men, including former Astros draft pick, arrested for trying to meet teens for sex

Investigators also found evidence Jones had spoken to other underage children on Kik.

At the time of Jones' arrest, officers said they also found cocaine and methamphetamine in his possession.

Jones bonded out of jail pending trial, but was arrested again in Harris County on a separate drug possession charge.

RELATED: Man accused of child kidnap plot 'to make babies' among 51 sex crime arrests

When his trial was set for April in the online solicitation case, Jones disappeared for more than a month, sparking a manhunt for the fugitive.

Jones was sentenced last week to the maximum penalty in his case. Under Texas law, he will have to serve at least five years in prison before he's eligible for parole.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.