Gaspar Wanted in Texas for Sex Crimes

Hugo Gaspar (CCSO photo)
Hugo Gaspar (CCSO photo)

The registered sex offender and convicted felon caught Friday in Riegelwood was reportedly reaching for a firearm in his vehicle when he was arrested by deputies.

Hugo Alberto Bautista-Gaspar is now facing deportation after being tried for crimes stretching back to 2008.

Gaspar, 40, is being held under no bond on charges of first degree child sex offense, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, carrying a concealed gun, ID fraud, and failure to appear. He is also under an Immigration and customs (ICE) detainer. Gaspar had addresses in Rose Hill and Riegelwood, according to jail and court documents.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release that detectives obtained warrants for Gaspar after interviewing multiple witnesses in an alleged sexual abuse case that happened in Riegelwood in 2008, when the victim was a child.

Deputies with the Heavy Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) and CID saturated the eastern end of the county Friday after developing information that Gaspar was armed with a stolen 9mm handgun and was in the area. Deputies spotted Gaspar’s vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.

Gaspar, who has distinctive tattoos that helped identify him, reportedly told the deputy “Hold on, let me get something” when asked to exit his Chevrolet truck. Gaspar was allegedly reaching for the console of the vehicle, where deputies found the stolen handgun.

Gaspar also had outstanding warrants from Sampson County for  possession of a firearm by a felon, and failure to appear on an open container violation from New Hanover County. He was also being sought in Mission, Texas, for sexual assault of a child, prohibited sexual contact, and indecency with a child/sexual contact. Those cases were from 2022, the CCSO said.

Sheriff Bill Rogers thanked the deputies for capturing Gaspar, and noted that statistics show on average, only 25 out of 1,000 sex abuse suspects end up arrested or in prison. He urged anyone with any information about similar cases to come forward.

“Every voice matters, and every piece of information plays a crucial role in holding perpetrators accountable and safeguarding our community from harm,” Rogers said in the press release. “We are committed to supporting and empowering survivors, holding offenders accountable, and fostering a community where safety, trust, and dignity reign supreme.”

About Jefferson Weaver 1975 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].