SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A 42-year-old man was arrested here this morning after a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Secret Service investigation revealed that he was sexually enticing a girl on the Internet who he thought was 14 years old.
Jose Quintana-Mendez, of Bayamon, was arrested by ICE and Secret Service agents in Guaynabo after he arranged the meeting during the sexually explicit conversations.
Quintana-Mendez is being charged with Title 18 United States Code (USC), Section 2422(b), sexually enticing a minor.
"This arrest is a stern reminder of the consequences awaiting those who use the Internet to sexually exploit innocent children," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, acting special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "Some predators mistakenly believe the anonymity of cyberspace shields them from scrutiny, when in fact, their use of computers and the Internet have given us new tools in our enforcement efforts to protect children from online predators."
Quintana-Mendez will have his initial appearance before U.S magistrate judge Bruce McGiverin today. He will be transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting the outcome of his case.
The arrest of Quintana-Mendez was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
This case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenifer Hernandez.
Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
A criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.