Eric Joe Cabrera, also known as “Chico the Mexican,” was arrested as he exited a Greyhound Bus in the wee hours of Saturday morning by Alice Police Department in Alice, Texas. Cabrera had been residing in the Columbia area and is associated with the “Crips” gang.
According to the U.S. Marshals, Cabrera went to Aiken with a person he met at Occupy Columbia in early December, and on December 13, Cabrera was charged with one count of lewd act on a minor and one count of solicitation of minor after he allegedly asked a small child to perform oral sex, stemming from an incident that occurred on December 6. Cabrera fled the Aiken area soon after the alleged incident and returned to Columbia seeking refuge. Aiken Public Safety investigated the incident and obtained warrants for Cabrera and contacted Operation Intercept, the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, on December 13 and requested their assistance in locating and apprehending Cabrera.
Deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division – Lexington, Richland, Aiken, & Orangeburg Counties began investigation on the whereabouts of Cabrera. Deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers interviewed Occupy Columbia participants who told them Cabrera was homeless; however he did have family in Texas. Friday evening a phone tip came in advising OPIN Cabrera was on a Greyhound bus headed to Alice, Texas. Acting on this basic information Deputy U.S. Marshals verified Greyhound did have a bus station in Alice, Texas, and a bus would be arriving around midnight Saturday morning. OPIN contacted Alice Police Department and forwarded all known information and photos of Cabrera to the responding police officers. At approximately 12:20 a.m. Saturday morning Cabrera was arrested without incident as he exited the Greyhound Bus and was booked into the Jim Wells County Jail where he awaits extradition to South Carolina.
“Children are our precious gift and knowing this child predator has been taken off the streets shows the dedication of our law enforcement community. This case shows the magnitude of effort to pursue each case with diligence and bring closure to the victim and their family to include working on limited information and staying up late to protect our beloved community.” stated Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina.
Lieutenant David Turno, Aiken Public Safety, stated “We are thankful this subject is in custody after committing this unspeakable act against a child in our community. We also appreciate the prompt assistance from the US Marshals Service and Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force leading to the arrest of the subject in Texas.”