Two men have been indicted by a Bell County grand jury after Texas Attorney General’s Office investigators accused the men of trying to lure girls the men knew to be underage into sexual activities.

Matthew Jay Pedersen, 33, a Killeen resident, and Gerson Yonatan Paz Paz, 22, of Hutto, each were indicted on a felony charge of online solicitation of a minor in separate but similar cases.

Neither man is listed in the Bell County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon, according to jail logs.

Pedersen and Paz Paz each been given $250,000 bonds, according to the FME News Service.

Police said that on April 23, Pedersen, using the name “Taco-flavored kisses,” attempted to get the investigator, who was pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, to “engage in sexual acts…making plans to meet with her after school at a public park located in Temple,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Deputies were at the park to meet Pedersen, where they arrested him.

The next day, Paz Paz, using the screen name “Bairon Melgar,” also used online apps to try to meet and have sex with who he thought was a 15-year-old girl, but who was really an investigator with the Attorney General’s Office, according to the arrest warrant.

Deputies were at a park in Temple, where they arrested Paz Paz.

Pederson was unemployed at the time of his arrest and was formerly in the military. Paz Paz, who worked in construction, also had an immigration detainer, said Major T.J. Cruz of the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, previously.

The multi-day sting was conducted in Temple and Killeen with the assistance of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, according to the FME News Service. The Attorney General’s Office approached the Bell County Sheriff’s Department and met with the Special Crimes Unit several times. When asked why the AG’s office wanted to come to this area, Bell County Sheriff Eddie Lange said it was because Bell County had high counts in downloading pornography and a sting hadn’t been done in this area.

Also indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday, in unrelated cases, were:

Andy Pichardo, 29, of Killeen, on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault—bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

Demarion Antwon Garner, 31, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance 4 grams or more.

Danny Michael Lane Jr., 22, of Killeen, on a charge of credit card abuse.

Dekye Odell Stinson, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of credit card abuse.

Anthony Alexander Gallardo, 19, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault—bodily injury with a deadly weapon.

Jonathan Milo Perrault, 29, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant.

Donavon Cornell Clark, 32, of Killeen, on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Robert William Foster, 31, of Killeen, on a charge of burglary of a building.

Steven Paul Foster, 46, of Killeen, on a charge of burglary of a building.

Devin Delance Todd, 32, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance 1 gram or more.

Johnny Clayton Lieck, 57, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance 1 gram or more.

Talmadage Olando Worthy, 57, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance 4 grams or more.

Lakrisha Lakisha Curry, 31, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

Joan Lisaure Oliveras-Marrero, 23, of Fort Hood, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula is reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald. Reach her at emilys@kdhnews.com

Herald reporter

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