WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly arranging for men in the United States to travel to Honduras to have sex with young teenage girls, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Paul I. Perez of the Middle District of Florida announced today.
Gary B. Evans, 58, was arrested last night at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla. on a criminal complaint that charges him with arranging for the travel of a person to engage in illicit sexual conduct – specifically, a commercial sex act with a person under 18 years of age. If convicted, Evans faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Evans will make his initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Orlando, Fla.
According to the affidavit, submitted in support of the criminal complaint, in August 2005, Evans contacted the operator of a Web site which purported to sell "sex tour" packages to overseas locations. According to the Web site, the tour price would include an under-age companion who would have sex with the traveler. Evans allegedly proposed a partnership with the operator of the Web site in which they would jointly operate tours to Honduras and Costa Rica, where clients would pay to have sex with minors. However, the Web site was actually part of an undercover investigation being conducted by FBI agents who are part of the Innocence Images task force based in Calverton, Md.
In several emails, and online and phone conversations in September 2005, Evans allegedly agreed to arrange for two clients to travel to Honduras to engage in sex with two girls—a 16-year-old and her 14-year-old friend. The agreed price for the hotel, expenses and sex was $1,000.
According to the affidavit, on May 6, 2006, undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) met three alleged associates of Evans in Honduras. The three associates ultimately brought two girls, who appeared to be between the ages of 14 and 16, to the hotel. After briefly meeting the girls, the undercover agents told the associates that they had to return to the United States to attend to an emergency. At that point, the girls safely left the hotel.
“The sexual exploitation of children is a global problem, and U.S. law enforcement is working beyond our borders to protect the innocent from sexual predators,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal. “We will do everything in our power to prosecute those who facilitate sex with minors and those who travel overseas and commit these horrible crimes.”
U.S. Attorney Perez stated, “Recruiting these children to have sex with adult men is a revolting crime. Our office will continue to aggressively seek out and prosecute those who exploit young girls for the purpose of engaging in sex.”
“Today's announcement not only underscores the importance of domestic law enforcement partnerships such as those between the FBI, ICE, and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, but it further demonstrates the FBI's ongoing commitment to targeting offenders and protecting children all over the world,” said Keith L. Lourdeau, FBI Acting Assistant Director, Cyber Division. “Today, through collaborative efforts with all agencies, including international police representatives who work beside us in FBI workspace, we are bringing all available tools and resources to bear.”
“Those who facilitate or engage in this perverted form of tourism should be on notice,” said Julie L. Meyers Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Americans who believe they can sexually abuse children abroad without facing serious consequences at home are sadly mistaken.”
This case is being investigated by ICE and the FBI. The Brevard County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office is also assisting. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincent Citro of the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorney Alexandra Gelber of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.