PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Petty Officer First Class in the United States Navy stationed here was arrested Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing a person under 18 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to do so, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b).
The announcement was made today by Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Ken Mascara, Sheriff, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
Frank Jaffrion entered an America Online chat room and began to correspond with an undercover police officer posing as the father of an eleven-year-old girl. During Internet communications, Jaffrion repeatedly expressed his desire to engage in sexual activity with the child. Jaffrion made plans to meet the father and his fictitious 11-year-old daughter in Port St. Lucie to engage in sexual activity with the child.
If convicted, Jafrion faces a minimum of ten years up to life in prison, followed by a minimum of five years of supervised release up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
This case was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been nearly 11,000 individuals arrested nationwide.
ICE encourages the reporting of 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rinku Talwar.