No bond for Valley man accused of soliciting photos from a child online

2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Saturday, January 27 2024 Jan 27, 2024 January 27, 2024 3:24 PM January 27, 2024 in News - Local

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 30 with a statement from Roblox 

A Rio Grande Valley man will remain in federal custody after allegedly posing as a child to try to lure a 10-year-old girl in Finland into sending him sexually explicit photos.

Brandon Roy Alvarez was arrested Monday, Jan. 22 on a federal enticement charge, according to a criminal complaint.

Alvarez went before a federal judge in McAllen on Friday, who ordered Alvarez be held in federal custody without bond pending his trial.

According to the complaint, the FBI received word from the Finland Liason Bureau and Helsinki Police Department on Nov. 2023 of a report made by a 10-year-old girl of someone — identified as Alvarez — sending her sexually explicit messages and videos.

The child reported that the suspect initiated a relationship with her on Sept. 2023 on Roblox that moved to WhatsApp. According to the complaint, Alvarez posed as an underage Asian girl and sent her videos on WhatsApp depicting “child sexual abuse.” Alvarez would then ask the girl to send nude images of herself. 

The number linked to the WhatsApp account was from a 956 area code, the complaint stated.

Following his arrest, Alvarez admitted to befriending the minor online and attempting to convince the child to send him nude photos and videos, according to the complaint.

A trial date has not been set for Alvarez.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, Roblox issued the following statement in reference to the investigation:

“Ensuring a safe and compliant online experience for users of Roblox is a core tenant of the company. Our policies prohibit inappropriate content and behavior, and we take swift action against anyone found to be violating our Community Standards. We also have a number of features specifically designed to keep kids safe, including filtering text chat on the platform and offering parental controls and features to limit or turn off chat.”

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