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March 28, 2024Raleigh, NC, United StatesChild Exploitation, Document and Benefit Fraud

ICE investigation leads to convicted child molester’s indictment for naturalization fraud

RALEIGH, N.C. – United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in the Raleigh office initiated an investigation that led to the indictment of a convicted child molester.

On March 20, 2024, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Robert Davis, a 67-year-old naturalized citizen of the United States, born in Malaysia, with naturalization fraud.

According to the indictment, on May 9, 2017, Davis fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship by making a false statement under oath regarding his naturalization application. In response to the question “Have you ever committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” he answered “no.” He also denied having ever forced anyone to have sexual contact or sexual relations.

On Feb. 2, 2024, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Guilford County, Davis was convicted of indecent acts with a child and attempted first-degree sexual offense. Davis confessed to having committed the crimes between Jan. 30, 2004 and Dec. 30, 2005. The victim was a 5-year-old girl. Davis was sentenced to more than 16 years of imprisonment, in part because of a prior federal conviction in 2021 for possessing child pornography in the Middle District of North Carolina which resulted in a 14-year prison sentence.

“This case highlights ERO’s commitment to protecting the communities we serve, and I am proud of the work we do every day,” said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Ervin. “It also highlights our resolve. For those who prey upon the vulnerable and lie about their crimes, there is nowhere to hide. ERO will relentlessly defend the integrity of our nation’s naturalization process.”

ERO officers assigned to HSI’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force investigated the case as part of Operation False Haven, an ongoing initiative designed to aggressively identify and prosecute child molesters and other egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.

ERO designed and launched Operation False Haven in late 2019 to identify and target child molesters and other egregious felons who were convicted after naturalizing for offenses they committed and concealed during the process.

Since its inception, False Haven has gradually evolved from a single district initiative to one that now encompasses six judicial districts. The scope has broadened beyond naturalization fraud and now encompasses defendants who fraudulently obtained a wide range of immigration benefits.

To date, the initiative has produced 60 criminal cases, 29 civil cases, 28 convictions, 18 judicial revocations of citizenship, and eight judicial removal orders against defendants convicted of serial rape, child molestation, incest, sodomy, child pornography, kidnapping, sex trafficking, murder, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, tax fraud, pill mill prescription fraud, embezzlement, aggravated identity theft, and elder abuse.

For more news and information on how ERO Atlanta carries out its immigration enforcement mission in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, follow us on Twitter @EROAtlanta.