Photo: File photo of suspect Richard Cavazos | Santa Barbara County Jail
The question about how much unfettered internet access children should be granted was answered once again on the evening of April 5th with the arrest of 58-year-old Nipomo resident Richard Cavazos; the answer would call for minors and their parents to be extremely wary of online social media interactions.
According to Santa Maria Police Department spokesman Sgt. Daniel Rios, reports of Cavazos’s various social media contacts with underage individuals led to an ongoing investigation of his attempts to “meet with minors with the intent to engage in sexual acts.”
SMPD detectives determined that he had in fact attempted to arrange such a meeting with a male 14-year-old Nipomo resident on or about April 4, 2023. Monitoring the potential victim’s social media accounts, detectives surveyed the young man’s interactions with Cavazos as Cavazos arranged to meet boy in a neighborhood parking lot at 7:30 p.m.
Surveying the designated meeting spot, detectives made contact with Cavazos as he arrived for his illicit assignation with the minor. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on multiple felony charges including solicitation of sex with a minor.