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Child Exploitation

Michigan man sentenced to 7 years for attempted child sexual exploitation

DETROIT – A metropolitan Detroit man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for attempting to lure an underage girl for sex. The sentencing ends an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Carlos Castaneda, 40, of Eastpointe, Mich., was arrested in July and charged with attempted travel in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct, and online enticement, after an undercover HSI special agent responded to an ad Castaneda placed seeking sex with an underage female. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Responding to the ad Castaneda placed on motherless.com seeking sex with a minor female, an undercover HSI special agent arranged a meeting with Castaneda after corresponding with him for several days. Castaneda described in graphic details his intentions for the underage girl.

The special agent, posing as the father of a 15-year-old girl, agreed to meet Castaneda at an area hotel. He was arrested without incident at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

"Protecting children from dangerous online predators is one HSI's highest priorities," said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. "We will continue to proactively seek out online predators so that more and more they find us on the other side of their computer screens and not innocent children."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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 (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative 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.