WORCESTER, Mass. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A 26-year-old former deputy sheriff from Texas has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for sexually exploiting young girls from Massachusetts that he met online.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts, Pasquale Salas pled guilty in May to cyberstalking and the sexual exploitation of a minor. He was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.

The former deputy sheriff with the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office southwest of Houston met one girl in 2014 when she was 12 while playing the video game Minecraft, federal prosecutors said.

Salas asked the girl for sexually explicit images and videos of herself, and threatened to send them to her friends and family to intimidate her into maintaining contact, prosecutors said.

He also solicited sexually explicit images from a second victim, starting when she was 12, prosecutors said. Salas sent pictures of himself inside a police car and with a gun and told the girl he had law enforcement friends in Massachusetts who would follow her, authorities said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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