Patrick Mahoney, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, was arrested without incident and is currently in custody. He was charged in a criminal complaint with knowingly attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and is scheduled to appear Feb. 22 for a detention hearing.
Mahoney was taken into custody after arranging a sexual encounter with an undercover officer, who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Upon his arrest, Mahoney had in his possession condoms, erectile dysfunction medication, lubricant, synthetic narcotics and other drug paraphernalia. A search of a laptop belonging to Mahoney confirmed child pornography in his possession, for which he will face additional charges.
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge, HSI Michigan and Ohio; and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, on behalf of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, announced the arrest.
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-DHS-2-ICE 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
A federal complaint contains allegations. A defendant should be presumed innocent unless convicted in a court of law.