YOUNGSVILLE, La. – A former Cabot school teacher has been arrested in Louisiana by federal authorities as a part of an investigation involving alleged inappropriate communication with a minor.
33-year-old Jacob De La Plaz was arrested at approximately 6:00 p.m. Thursday by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, assisted by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
De La Paz was previously employed at a school in Cabot, where he was found to have “engaged in inappropriate communication with a student via text messaging” in 2017.
After an investigation and hearing by the Arkansas State Board of Education, De La Paz was placed on probation.
Records show the Arkansas board’s ethics subcommittee recommended his teaching license be permanently revoked, but the full board chose to impose a 3-year probation on his license and fine De La Paz $250.
While his case was being investigated in Arkansas, De La Paz took a teaching position at North Vermilion High School.
De La Paz’s attorney told the Arkansas State Board of Education during a 2019 hearing that the teacher was forthcoming with the North Vermilion High School principal about the proceeding happening in Arkansas at the time.
This week, authorities say new evidence related to his interactions with a student was uncovered, leading to his arrest.
In a statement, Homeland Security Public Affairs Officer Sarah Loicano said the investigation is ongoing:
“Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Lafayette received information regarding a possible child exploitation event which led to the arrest of Jacob De La Paz on April 27 on violation of 18 USC 2251; Enticing a minor to produce child pornography/Child Sexual Assault Material,” the statement read. “He is currently in federal custody. As this is an ongoing investigation and additional charges may be pending, we are unable to provide additional information at this time. HSI worked jointly with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigations during this investigation.
If you or anyone you know may have been exploited by De La Paz, please call the HSI toll-free tip line, (866) 347-2423, or you may fill out the online tip form, or contact the Western District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney’s office at 318-676-7600.”
This is an on-going investigation.