Angel Saloman, 20, of Solvang has been charged with contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense, sending harmful matter with intent to seduce a minor, and possession of a deadly weapon, identified as metal knuckles, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
The felony charges were filed after Saloman allegedly attempted to lure a 12-year-old girl for sexual acts in return for flavored tobacco products, the Sheriff’s press release stated.
The Sheriff’s Department contacted Saloman on Oct. 20, when deputies responded to the 1700 block of Mission Drive in Solvang after a parent began following a suspect who was stalking her child on a social media app, sheriff’s spokeswoman Raquel Zick added.
Deputies spoke with the reporting party who told them she had intercepted messages on a social media app from the suspect to her child, and was in the area to catch the suspect as he was planning to meet up with the child to exchange sexual acts for flavored tobacco products.
Saloman was taken into custody and was being held on $100,000 bail. He was ordered to return to Santa Maria Superior Court on Nov. 12.
This case has been forwarded to Sheriff’s detectives for follow-up and remains under investigation. Anyone with additional information about this suspect is encouraged to contact Detective Rivlin at 805-686-8154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling our tip line at 805-681-4171 or online at SBSheriff.org.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind parents about the lure of flavored tobacco and the importance of monitoring social media platforms. This suspect’s predatory attempt was thwarted by a diligent parent who intercepted messages on Snapchat. Addictive flavored tobacco products that are aimed at child consumers who cannot legally purchase them can be used as a commodity to lure children into dangerous acts.
For more information about online child safety, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website. The Sheriff’s Office participates in the State of California Department of Justice’s tobacco grant aimed at promoting a healthier California by reducing illegal sales and marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors. You can read more about the dangers of tobacco use by children at tobaccofreeca.com.