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Child Exploitation

Former Pittsburgh resident admits attempting to arrange sex with a child

PITTSBURGH - A former Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge for his attempt to arrange for sex with a minor child on July 7. Roger Wesley Farris, II, 40, currently of Waynesboro, Va., pleaded guilty to one count of a charge related to his attempt to arrange for sex with a minor child.

The court record indicates that on or about March 4, 2008, Farris attempted to arrange illegal sexual activity with a minor. The criminal complaint detailed an undercover operation in which Farris contacted an agent posing as the uncle of a 10-year-old child in an effort to arrange sex with the child. Farris told the agent that he would pay $700, plus $50 for gas money, if the uncle would bring the child from West Virginia to a hotel in Pittsburgh. Farris was arrested on March 5, 2008, at the Quality Inn hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The judge scheduled sentencing for November 4, 2010, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through Operation Predator.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.