There were a pair of stories in early December that local law enforcement agencies wished they didn’t have to deal with.
Rape suspect released
Jose Aguilar-Mayorquin, 36, of New Braunfels, was mistakenly released from the county lockup around 4 p.m. on Dec. 3.
Aguilar-Mayorquin, who was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault on Nov. 16, had been jailed under a $30,000 bond.
Comal County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and U.S. Marshal’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force officers tracked down Aguilar-Mayorquin, who was arrested without incident at a northwest San Antonio residence around 9 p.m. Dec. 4.
Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds and Jail Administrator Maj. Bill Jennings quickly determined staffers failed to follow release procedures, with Reynolds ordering a full review.
“As a result, we had employees who were disciplined for their actions or inactions,” he said. “We did lose one to termination — not resulting from the investigation — but for an integrity issue.”
Reynolds said the employee tried to sway other employees into telling a different story, which he said obstructed the investigation.
He would not say what types of disciplinary measures were taken against the other four employees who were not fired.
NBPD officer arrested, faces child porn charge
A few days later, it was the New Braunfels Police Department that found itself in the spotlight.
A member of the NBPD was arrested Dec. 9 by Texas Rangers and charged with possession of child pornography.
NBPD officials said Jacob Pullen, a lieutenant with the police department, was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 14 after the department was made aware of the investigation.
“This has been a complete shock for us,” New Braunfels Police Chief Tom Wibert said that afternoon. “Just the fact that this happened — it’s not the Lieutenant Jacob Pullen that we know.”
Pullen was hired by the department in May 2006. Wibert said the department has been fully cooperating with the investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Department of Homeland Security.
Pullen’s arrest affidavit, filed by a Ranger, indicated a Homeland Security agent informed the agency that its New York Child Exploitation Investigations Unit began investigating widespread online distribution of child pornography on dark websites throughout the country.
The dark web is encrypted online content that’s not indexed by conventional search engines like Google — with content only accessible through specialized software — and doesn’t appear through regular internet browsing activity.
The affidavit identifies one site, as an exclusive, members-only child porn website promoting itself as “featuring the largest collection of user submitted teen videos and pictures.”
Its splash page — what the user sees first before being given the option to continue to the main content of the site — required payment.
The Rangers’ affidavit said the agent “personally reviewed the splash page and observed seven images of nude girls, appearing to be approximately 10-15 years old, engaged in various sexual acts individually and with men.”
According to the affidavit, Pullen’s public address was identified as using Bitcoin, a digital currency, to purchase membership to the site “on or about July 2, 2019.” Further investigation indicated similar payments traced to his online address and later his home.
The affidavit said Pullen denied “accessing child pornography or making any purchases through the dark web.”
A search warrant led to seizures of several devices from Pullen’s residence and office, including a TOR browser “needed to access the dark web,” the affidavit stated, adding none of the applications found on the devices were typically used by other occupants at his home.