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Fort Wayne, Indiana man arrested after driving to Garfield County, Colorado with intent to sexually exploit two minor children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2012

DENVER – Steven Raines, age 35, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was arrested without incident after driving from Indiana to Garfield County, Colorado with the intent of sexually exploiting two minor females, United States Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced today. The arrest took place based on a Criminal Complaint obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. Raines was held in a local jail on the Western Slope. He made his initial appearance yesterday afternoon, where he was advised of the charges pending against him. He is expected to appear next in court in Grand Junction on July 10, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. for a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. Until that hearing he will be held in custody without bond.

Raines is a U.S. citizen, born in 1977, living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He began chatting with an HSI undercover agent using an undercover persona in April of 2012. The chats were explicit in nature, and the defendant indicated he wanted the undercover persona to arrange for him to have sex with both of her minor children, an individual less than 12 years old, and an individual less than 16 years old. After a number of chats, the defendant started to drive from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Grand Junction, Colorado with the purpose of engaging in those sexual relationships. During the trip the defendant’s car broke down, which resulted in him having to rent a replacement vehicle.

Once Raines arrived at the location in Garfield County where he was scheduled to meet the undercover persona and the two minor children, he was identified and then arrested.

“Men who prey on innocent children, like the defendant in this case, face substantial time in prison for their actions,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the hard work of HSI and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, this defendant will be unable to exploit our children for some time to come.”

“Homeland Security Investigations is committed to targeting predators who sexually exploit children,” said Kumar Kibble, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Denver. “By working together with our law enforcement partners worldwide, HSI helps protect children, while also ensuring that their predators are identified and prosecuted.” Kibble oversees a four-state area, including: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

Raines faces one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. If convicted of that charge, the defendant faces not more than 30 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. The defendant also faces one count of travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a person under the age of 12 years old. If convicted of that charge, Raines face not less than 30 years, and up to life in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to a $250,000.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. The HSI Resident Agent in Charge’s Office in Indianapolis, and the United States Attorney’s Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana also played an important role in this investigation.

Raines is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lillian Alves.

A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone accused of committing a federal felony crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

The charges contained in the Complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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