An example of handcuffs being placed on a subject.
An example of handcuffs being placed on a suspect not involved in story. Photo from Pixabay.

Felony charges were filed Friday against a Palm Desert man accused of arranging to meet up with a 13-year-old girl over the Internet for sex.

Marino Aaron Lopez, 30, was arrested Tuesday in Palm Desert at the conclusion of an undercover operation orchestrated by the Riverside County Anti- Human Trafficking Task Force.

Lopez is charged with four felonies: contact with a minor to commit a felony, arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes, attempted sodomy on a child under 14 years old and attempted sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years old.

He also faces three misdemeanors, including one count of possessing drug paraphernalia and two counts of possessing controlled substances. According to court papers, he was in possession of an unspecified quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine.

Lopez, who remains held on $250,000 bail at the Blythe Jail, is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Monday.

Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Tijerina said law enforcement personnel posed as a 13-year-old girl on multiple social media platforms during the sting operation that ended up netting Lopez.

The suspect allegedly “initiated an online conversation with the goal of soliciting a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old minor” and arrived at an unspecified location in the 72-900 block of Highway 111 about 7 p.m. Tuesday to meet her, officials said.

According to court papers, Lopez has an unresolved felony case stemming from an accessory after the fact charge in relation to an attempted murder case, but no felony convictions.

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