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August 15, 2023Charlottesville, VA, United StatesChild Exploitation

Florida man pleads guilty to attempting to transfer obscene material to minor following HSI Washington, D.C. investigation

Defendant used an internet messaging app to chat with undercover authorities posing as a young girl

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — An investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. and the Albemarle County Police Department resulted in a Florida man pleading guilty in federal court July 31 to one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor. William George Price, 65, of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison following his guilty plea.

“William George Price took to the internet in an attempt to prey upon young girls,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “He engaged in inappropriate discussions and sent sexual material to a participant that he thought was a 14-year-old girl. We are fortunate that this time an undercover task force officer was online to catch this predator. HSI Washington, D.C. remains ready to detect and apprehend such deviants on the internet in order to provide safer online communities for our residents.”

Price engaged in a conversation with an undercover detective from the Albemarle County Police Department who portrayed himself as a 14-year-old girl named “Ashley” on an instant messaging app in February 2021. During the conversation, Price, who called himself “Bill Prince,” said he was 63 years old and living in Florida. “Ashley” told Price that she lived in Virginia and was almost 15.

The conversation became sexual when Price asked “Ashley” if she liked older men, and proceeded to ask more intimate questions followed by explicit requests. Later, Price asked if she wanted a picture of him. When “Ashley” responded in the affirmative, Price sent sexually explicit photos and videos.

Anyone who has additional information about this case, or other cases involving online sexual predators, should contact the HSI Tip Line. The tip line number is 866-DHS-2423 (866-347-2423) and is staffed 24 hours a day.

This investigation was conducted by HSI Washington, D.C. and the Albemarle County Police Department with significant assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Virginia.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.