A Gurnee man, who is a Homeland Security officer, was arrested after police say he communicated with a “child” for months, engaging in sexual conversations, and then tried to meet up with her.
Eddie R. Murillo, 43, of the 1500 block of Pinetree Drive in Gurnee, was charged with one count of traveling to meet a minor and one count of grooming.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group, along with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), recently concluded an investigation into Murillo.
Murillo was communicating online with undercover detectives, posing as a girl under the age of 15, over the past several months, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Doyle said in court Thursday that NCIS agents were communicating with Murillo on the Whisper app and then moved over to text message.
During their conversations, Murillo told the child that he wished to engage in a sexual relationship with her, Covelli said.
The “child” indicated to Murillo multiple times that she was 14 years old, Doyle said, adding that the man asked for inappropriate photos from her and discussed sexual acts with her.
Murillo told the child he wanted to pick her up when her mother was not home and then take her somewhere, Doyle said.
Covelli said that Murillo on Wednesday drove to meet with the girl in order to engage in the discussed sexual acts.
Sheriff’s detectives arrested the man when he arrived to meet with the child.
Murillo said “I’m f–ked” when police showed up and admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong, Doyle said.
Lake County Assistant Public Defender Andrew Youra said Murillo has been an officer with the Department of Homeland Security for the last 17 years.
Doyle said she has concerns that Murillo is a flight risk because he works at the airport as a federal agent. She asked the court to impose a $750,000 bond.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Murillo held on a $750,000 bond and required him to surrender his passport if he posts bond.
“Our detectives will continue placing an emphasis on proactively investigating those who prey on our children. Parents and guardians, I cannot stress it enough, know what apps your children are using and know who they are talking to on their devices,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement.
Murillo remains held in the Lake County Jail and would need to post $75,000 cash to be released.