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Child Exploitation

Upstate New York man sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison for attempting to sexually entice a minor

ALBANY, N.Y. – An upstate New York man was sentenced to 188 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for attempting to sexually entice a minor. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Christopher Morin, 40, of Massena, N.Y., was sentenced Nov. 14, 2011, by U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy in Albany, N.Y. On June 23, 2011, after a three-day jury trial, he was found guilty of attempted sexual enticement of a minor.

Morin was arrested on Aug. 14, 2010, after an undercover investigation by HSI special agents. The undercover investigation began when federal agents obtained consent to assume control of a 15-year-old girl's cellular phone and Facebook account. From Aug. 9, 2010 until Aug. 14, 2010, Morin exchanged more than 1,000 text messages with an undercover agent posing as the 15-year-old girl. Morin was arrested after arriving at a gas station on the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation in Akwesasne, N.Y., to meet with the undercover agent.

As part of the court's judgment, Morin is required to register as a sex offender and was ordered not to have contact with minors.

"The court's sentence clearly reflects the seriousness of the crime committed by Christopher Morin – an individual who held a position of public trust as a coach in his local community," said James Spero, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Buffalo. "Our children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of sexual exploitation. Homeland Security Investigations, along with our law enforcement partners throughout New York, will not tolerate such despicable crimes. Parents need to know that they can trust adults that have daily contact with their children. That is why law enforcement will continue to relentlessly pursue child predators to ensure they are held accountable for their despicable behavior."

The prosecution of Morin was the result of a joint investigation with ICE HSI, the Massena Police Department, the Saint Regis Tribal Police and the New York State Police.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. ICE HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Gardner, Northern District of New York.