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Child Exploitation
07/08/2011

Massachusetts traffic stop leads to teen sex charges

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Fall River, Mass., man now awaits trial for allegedly persuading a 15-year-old girl he met on the Internet to travel from Rhode Island to Massachusetts for sex. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Rhode Island State Police.

Armand D. Thibodeau, 27, who made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence Friday, was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and placed on home confinement. He was arrested at his parent's North Dartmouth, Mass., home by a team of federal, state and local law enforcement agents.

According to court records, on June 30, state police made a late night traffic stop involving a vehicle allegedly driven at a high rate of speed by Thibodeau in Johnston, R.I. During the traffic stop, troopers discovered a 15-year-old female passenger.

Information gathered during the traffic stop was forwarded to state police detectives and ICE HSI agents assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. After a careful review of the information, a federal arrest warrant for Thibodeau and a search warrant were issued.

The warrants were executed by ICE HSI agents, the Rhode Island State Police and officers from police departments in Fall River and Dartmouth, Mass.

Thibodeau is charged in a federal complaint with one count each of persuading a person under the age of 18 to travel in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity and engaging in illicit sexual activity.