These sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar C. Kibble. These two cases are unrelated.
Michael Burch, 31, of Seattle, Wash., was sentenced Wednesday by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 11 years in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years on supervised release, for traveling to engage in a sex act with a minor. Burch appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing's conclusion.
According to the stipulated facts in Burch's plea agreement, after numerous Internet chats and several phone calls, Burch left Seattle by commercial bus Aug. 22, 2012, and arrived in Grand Junction at 3:20 a.m. Aug. 24. He thought he was meeting a single mother with two girls, ages 4 and 14. The single mother he was communicating with was actually an undercover agent. Once Burch arrived in Grand Junction he was placed under arrest.
Paulo dos Santos Silva Jr., 38, a citizen and national of Brazil, was sentenced Thursday by Daniel to serve 12 years and four months in federal prison, to be followed by five years on supervised release, for attempting to coerce and entice minors. Silva appeared at his sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing's conclusion.
After multiple sexually explicit Internet chats and a phone call, Silva flew from Brazil to Grand Junction Feb. 15, 2012, to meet a single mother with two girls, ages 4 and 14, according to the stipulated facts in Silva's plea agreement. The single mother was actually an undercover agent. Silva was arrested after arriving at the Grand Junction Airport about 11 a.m.
"Anyone who travels great distances to have sex with children is an especially dangerous predator," said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. "To protect the most innocent and vulnerable members of our communities, our special agents in Homeland Security Investigations take an extremely active role to identify and ultimately remove these predators from society."
These cases were investigated by HSI.
Burch was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer; Silva was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak, District of Colorado.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.