Ventura police arrested a 48-year-old man who tried meeting an underage girl for sex while armed with a loaded handgun Thursday, authorities said.
Areyso Jose Mora, a resident of Lomita, drove in his work vehicle to Ventura, about 80 miles away, to meet someone he thought was a young girl, according to the Ventura Police Department. But the arranged meeting was actually part of an undercover sting by local authorities.
Mora came to the attention of law enforcement on Feb. 6, when a business reported one of its underage employees was being harassed by an adult customer while working, according to police. Mora allegedly bought flowers for the girl and gave her his phone number.
Ventura police soon launched an investigation in which Mora allegedly began communicating with detectives by phone and text, believing they were the girl, police said.
“Mora’s communication began to be explicitly sexual in nature and Mora wanted to meet the victim for sexual exploits knowing the victim was a juvenile,” the agency said in a news release.
On Thursday, he drove to Marina Park in Ventura with his dog to meet the girl, and he rented a hotel room in the area, according to police. Detectives found and arrested him at the park about 2:30 p.m.
Investigators found Mora was allegedly in possession of a loaded firearm while he was being arrested. They also executed a search warrant which led to the discovery of pornography in his hotel room, according to police.
He was booked into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of unlawful communications with a minor, luring a child for the purpose of engaging in lewd acts with a minor and possession of a loaded concealed firearm.