Obinna Vincent Uzoh, 31, is charged with coercing and enticing a child. According to court documents, he approached a teenage girl in July, asked for her phone number and requested they meet even though he knew she was 16 years old. He gave the teen his phone number and asked that she text him.
Uzoh contacted the girl through a social network site earlier this month, unaware her identity had been assumed by an ICE HSI undercover agent. The agent and Uzoh communicated several times on the networking site and via text messages for a few days. Uzoh repeatedly asked if he could visit the teen at her house when she was alone, and described certain sexual acts he wanted to perform.
On Aug. 16, the undercover agent, posing as the teen, gave Uzoh an address. A short time later, Uzoh walked to the front door and knocked. Agents opened the door, and took him into custody.
"Child predators are a parent's worst nightmare," said Manuel Oyola-Torres, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in El Paso. "Individuals who prey on children should know by now, that ICE HSI will pursue them, and put them behind bars for a long time."
Uzoh reportedly is a petroleum engineer who claimed to attend the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, in Socorro, N.M. He had his first court appearance Aug. 17 and remains in federal custody without bond. His preliminary and detention hearing is set for Aug. 22 in federal court. If convicted, Uzoh faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
The Texas Department of Public Safety assisted with the arrest.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, an 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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators by calling at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.