The 29-year-old man admitted to police that he had sex with the minor, but said he thought she was 19.
Dillon Matthew Ellis was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Lumberton Police responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle at a home on Kendrick Lane.
Responding officers found a vehicle with California tags. In the car, they found Ellis with a 13-year-old girl, according to Chief Danny Sullins.
Ellis told officers he thought the victim was 19 and admitted to having sex with her. However, evidence suggests that Ellis knew the victim’s actual age, Sullins said.
On Tuesday, Ellis was arrested for “interference with child custody.” On Wednesday, an arrest warrant was served, charging him with “trafficking of person.”
That is a first degree felony and if convicted, a person could face anywhere from five years to life in prison.
Ellis is currently being held in the Hardin County Jail on a $2 million bond.
Lumberton Police learned that Ellis and his victim communicated online. Lumberton Police contacted Texas Ranger Josh Bensen because of his experience in online predators.
A further investigation revealed that Ellis had no other victims. Lumberton Police are working with Texas Rangers and expect more charges to filed against Ellis, Sullins said.
The victim’s mother has since been contacted.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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