Ian Victor Kincheloe, 25, of Laguna Hills, Calif., was arrested Thursday by investigators from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD). Kincheloe is accused in a federal indictment handed down Wednesday with using the Internet and telephone to attempt to entice a minor into illegal sexual activity. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.
Kincheloe first came under suspicion in July when an investigation by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force revealed he had communicated in an Internet chat room with "Cindeed8400," whom he believed was a 13-year-old girl. "Cindeed8400" was, in fact, an adult posing as a minor. Kincheloe continued to communicate with "Cindeed 8400" throughout early August via the Internet, text messages and telephone calls, where he discussed in detail the illegal sexual activities he desired to engage in with her.
"Targeting sexual predators is a top priority of the Justice Department, as demonstrated by a record number of offenders brought to justice in recent years," said United States Attorney André Birotte, Jr. "My office is fully committed to investigating and prosecuting individuals intent on using the Internet to prey upon young people. The children in our communities and their parents should know that we are fully committed to protecting the future leaders of this nation."
Kincheloe was initially taken into custody August 3 on state charges by the Child Exploitation Task Force at the Huntington Beach Pier, where he had arranged to meet "Cindeed8400" in person. A search of his vehicle at the scene revealed a box of condoms, alcohol and flex cuffs. Agents also determined Kincheloe had booked a room at a hotel in Newport Beach, Calif., for that night. Kincheloe was free on $100,000 bond stemming from the state case when he was taken into custody Thursday.
"For most people, criminal acts against children are impossible to comprehend, but for the children who have been sexually exploited, these crimes are all too real," said Joseph Macias, assistant special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Orange County. "The physical and emotional scars are difficult, if not impossible, to outgrow. As part of the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, ICE HSI will continue to work collaboratively to bring child molesters and online predators to justice."
"This indictment demonstrates the success of the partnership we have forged with ICE Homeland Security Investigations to protect our children through the Child Exploitation Task Force," Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said. "Taking predators who target children off the street is what the task force is all about."
Investigators believe Kincheloe may have preyed on other underage victims, who have yet to be identified. The Child Exploitation Task Force encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through ICE's toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a Task Force partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.