ORLANDO, Fla. – A former Florida resident was arrested Friday for attempted sex trafficking. The arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Patrick R. Minga, 50, formerly of Cape Coral, attempted to induce and facilitate the travel of an individual from Brevard to Quito, Ecuador, so that the individual could engage in illicit sexual conduct with minor girls.
According to the criminal complaint, Minga had an online advertisement for a sex tourism business in Ecuador and, for a fee, he could facilitate lodging, transportation, meals, and unlimited access to females from Ecuador and Colombia. An undercover agent with HSI observed the ad and contacted Minga. Over the course of several months, Minga tried to induce and arrange the travel of the undercover agent from Florida to Quito, where Minga advised that he could provide sexual encounters with minors as young as 13 and 14 years old. On March 2, Minga traveled from Ecuador to the United States where agents subsequently arrested him in Huntsville, Ala.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.