JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Mexican citizen, in the United States illegally, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to transport a minor child from Las Vegas to Jacksonville with the intent that the child engage in sexual activity with him.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police Department (JAAPD), the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the FBI in Jacksonville and Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the Jacksonville State Attorney's Office.
Javier Guerrero Molina, 34, citizen of Mexico, was arrested May 30, 2014, at the Jacksonville International Airport.
According to court documents, the JAAPD received a telephone call May 29, 2014, from an individual who advised that a child had disappeared from her home in Las Vegas and was believed to be traveling by air to Jacksonville. JAAPD officers learned that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had made a "missing persons" entry regarding a 14-year-old female with the same name. A check of airline manifests confirmed that this child was listed as a passenger on a flight from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina. JAAPD coordinated with officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, who intercepted the child at the Charlotte International Airport. The child had been scheduled to board a flight from Charlotte to Jacksonville, due to arrive shortly after midnight May 30, 2014.
As the expected arrival time for the Jacksonville flight approached, a JAAPD officer observed Molina in a waiting area in the Jacksonville International Airport lobby. When asked by the officer, Molina advised that he was there to meet a particular passenger. He was subsequently detained and interviewed.
During an interview, Molina admitted that he had entered the United States in 1999 or 2000 by paying a smuggler $700 to help him cross the border on foot near Laredo, Texas. He also stated that he had previously engaged in sexual activity with the child in Jacksonville, before the child and her family moved to Las Vegas. He also stated that he had sent the child money to pay for a one-way airline ticket from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, and that he expected their sexual relationship to continue when the child returned to Jacksonville.
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 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
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. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. 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.