PENSACOLA, Fla. — Kenneth E. Haynes, 59, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for using a computer to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, Fairhope Police Department and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The two-count indictment alleges that on Oct. 1, Haynes traveled from Gulf Breeze to Fairhope, Ala., with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. The indictment also alleges that between Sept. 20 and Oct. 1, Haynes used a computer to entice this minor to engage in sexual activity.
Haynes was taken into custody on a federal arrest warrant on Oct. 1 and remains in the Santa Rosa County Jail in Florida. During a hearing to determine his release status pending the outcome of these charges, the government presented evidence that, after engaging in sexually explicit chats with an Internet correspondent whom Haynes believed to be a minor, Haynes traveled to Fairhope to meet the minor, bringing with him sexual toys and lubricant.
"Through partnerships with state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE will continue to vigorously investigate child exploitation cases like this one," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa, Fla.
If convicted for using a computer to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, Haynes faces a minimum mandatory of 10 years up to a maximum of life in prison. Haynes also faces a maximum of 30 years' imprisonment for traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
The 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 more than 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.