Fort Worth

Admitted child molester gets 30 years in federal prison for child porn

Randy Ray Wesson
Randy Ray Wesson Star-Telegram archives

A Hurst man who claimed to investigators that he has sexually abused more than 100 children and possessed tens of thousands of child pornography images was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in federal prison.

Randy Ray Wesson received national attention after his arrest in November 2014 over allegations that he helped enroll a 17-year-old lover — posing as a 12-year-old boy — in Hurst Hills Elementary School to lure potential sexual abuse victims.

The now 19-year-old teen, Ricardo Lugo, was sentenced in October to 20 years in prison for groping a third-grade boy at the school.

Lugo also received 10 years of deferred-adjudication probation for possession with intent to promote child pornography — a sentence that could earn him up to 130 years in prison if he violates his probation.

Wesson, 30, pleaded guilty in February 2015 to federal charges of possession of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of receipt of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means sentenced Wesson to 30 years in federal prison and 10 years of supervised release.

Wesson had told authorities that he met Lugo on Instagram in late 2013 or early 2014 and later brought him to live in Dallas-Fort Worth because Lugo was unhappy living in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

Hurst police have said Wesson falsified a birth certificate to enroll Lugo in the sixth grade at Hurst Hills under the name Matthew Drew Wesson.

Hurst police began investigating Wesson in June 2014 after an online tip was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding child pornography linked to the username “littleboy8” and a specific email address.

The email address was linked to Wesson.

The tip was forwarded to the Dallas Police Department's child exploitation unit, which forwarded the case to Hurst police.

Hurst police searched Wesson’s home in November 2014, seizing the man’s desktop computer, later revealed to contain images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

When Wesson was arrested in November 2014, Lugo — still believed to be a 12-year-old boy — was taken into Child Protective Services custody. He was arrested after investigators learned he was 17.

Wesson had previously been investigated by Grapevine police in 2012 after a woman reported that he had picked up her 4-year-old son and asked to baby-sit the boy.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd