New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty To Charges Of Travelling To Virginia To Have Sex With Minor
ALEXANDRIA, Va. –Royce DeWeese, 26, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to charges of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Scot R. Rittenberg, Acting Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Washington, D.C., made the announcement after DeWeese’s hearing before United States District Court Judge T. S. Ellis, III.
According to court documents and court proceedings today, between March and May 2013, DeWeese communicated over the Internet with an undercover HSI agent. DeWeese made a plan with the undercover agent to travel to Fairfax, Va. in order to engage in sexual activity with the undercover’s supposed 10-year-old daughter. On May 14, 2013, DeWeese did travel from New Jersey to Fairfax, Va., where law enforcement arrested him.
DeWeese pled guilty to one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b), and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for December 6, 2013.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Northern Virginia-District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Special Assistant United States Attorney Alicia J. Yass, a Trial Attorney with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division, are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.