Mercedes man accused of trying to have sex with 13-year-old girl

A 34-year-old Mercedes man is in federal custody on accusations he tried to meet a 13-year-old girl at a Harlingen park to have sex.

That child, however, was actually a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations’ Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigations Task Force who was part of an undercover online child enticement investigation on the application Whisper, according to a criminal complaint.

Jason Hernandez is scheduled for a detention and probable cause hearing Monday afternoon on a charge of enticing a minor, records show.

Federal authorities say the special agent took on the persona of a 13-year-old girl during the investigation and created a post in the Harlingen area that read “Hate this home school thing want to be with my BFs.”

Shortly after creating the post, a Whisper user called Chico956 sent a response, authorities say.

“The suspected male initiated the conversation by asking ‘You in college or just 45+,'” according to the complaint.

The agent “immediately stated ‘No in 8th,'” the charging document states.

In the ensuing conversation, the federal agent says Hernandez said he was 34 and the agent established their age as 13, authorities say.

“The suspected male stated he lived in Mercedes, Texas and stated his name was Jason, later identified as Jason Hernandez,” the criminal complaint states.

On Sept. 4, the special agent says in the complaint that Hernandez messaged them asking to meet in a place where no one would see them.

“Hernandez stated he could get in trouble if he was seen with a 13-year-old child. Hernandez also stated that if anything sexual were to occur, the person he believed to be a 13-year-old child would have to make the first move,” according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities say the special agent continually stated they were a 13-year-old girl, which they say Hernandez acknowledged multiple times.

On Sept. 9, the conversation moved to text messaging on cellphone, the charging document states.

“On September 10, 2020, Hernandez sent multiple texts stating he wanted to kiss the lips, neck and inner thighs of the person he believed to be a 13-year-old child when the met,” according to the criminal complaint.

Federal authorities allege Hernandez said that if he and the person he believed to be a teen girl had sex, it would be gentle.

“Hernandez stated he would put his penis in the vagina of the person he believed to be a 13-year-old child slowly so it would not hurt and if it hurt, he would take it out. Hernandez also stated he would wear a condom so the child could not get pregnant,” according to the criminal complaint.

On Sept. 15, federal agents say Hernandez agreed to meet the teen at a Harlingen park — where special agents were waiting to arrest the man.

Once he was in custody, the complaint alleges he admitted to enticing the teen and driving to the park to engage in sexual activity with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Hernandez has been in custody since last Tuesday, records show.