NEW ORLEANS - A 38-year-old Louisiana man was indicted here today by a federal grand jury on six counts of crimes against children, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Michael G. Meany was charged with aggravated sexual abuse, production of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors, coercion and enticement of a minor, transfer of obscene material to a minor and receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors. If convicted, Meany faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 30 years in prison and a possible maximum penalty of life in prison followed by up to a life term of supervised release, more than $1 million in fines and will be required to register as a sex offender.
According to indictment, Meany used personal computers, the Internet and cellular phones as facilities of interstate commerce to engage in communications with minors throughout the United States including Louisiana, Maine and Mississippi. It is alleged that Meany lured the underage girls in both Louisiana and Mississippi, tracked them down and had sexual relations with them. It is alleged that Meany coerced a minor girl to take sexually explicit images of herself and send them to him. It is further alleged that Meany transmitted obscene and sexually explicit images to a minor girl in Maine. Finally, the indictment alleges that Meany had intentionally downloaded and received numerous images of child pornography; all of which was located on his computers that were seized on Oct. 29, 2009.
According to the indictment, Meany communicated with minors using Teenspot.com, MySpace.com, Yahoo!, AOL Instant Messenger Service (AIM), and Stickam.com and established profiles of 14 and 15 year old boys on MySpace.com and other Internet social networking websites in order to meet minor girls. He purported to have approximately 200 underage friends on MySpace.com and claimed he had sexually explicit communications with as many as 100 minor girls; several of whom sent him sexually explicit images. Specifically, Meany allegedly used the following screen names, among others, to communicate with minors:"Mcowboy35@yahoo.com"; "email@example.com"; "Me.firstname.lastname@example.org"; "Tommythompson89@yahoo.com"; "Blah.email@example.com"; "Racerx1535@yahoo.com"; "Aitsme28@yahoo.com"; "Jsm2332000@yahoo.com"; "Jsm233@yahoo.com"; "Wthwtf19@yahoo.com"; "Helloagain@yahoo.com"; and "firstname.lastname@example.org."
Meany has been in custody since Oct. 29, 2009, on a Tennessee probation violation. Anyone who has information regarding these allegations is encouraged to contact the ICE Office of Investigations at 504-310-8800.
This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
The Louisiana Attorney General, Louisiana Probation and Parole and the Louisiana State Police (LSP) assisted ICE in this investigation.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.