Brazil citizen arrested for traveling to Grand Junction to have sex with minors
DENVER – Paulo dos Santos Silva, Jr., a citizen and national of Brazil, was arrested for knowingly traveling within interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with an individual under 16 years of age and an individual under 12 years of age, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Michael Holt announced. Silva was arrested without incident at the Grand Junction airport of ICE HSI special agents on Saturday, February 25, 2012. Silva appeared in U.S. District Court today in Grand Junction, where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. The Magistrate Judge ordered Silva detained without bond pending a resolution of his case.
According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on December 13, 2011, an HSI special agent working in an undercover capacity was chatting via the Internet with an individual. During the chat the conversation turned to the topic of sex. The undercover agent was using a persona that she was a mother raising a 4 year old daughter and a 14 year old step-daughter. The individual indicated his willingness to travel to the United States from Brazil for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with the three females (the mom and both daughters).
The undercover agent continued to chat with the individual. After multiple chats the individual, Paulo dos Santos Silva, Jr., decided to travel to Grand Junction. On February 25, 2012 Silva arrived at the Grand Junction airport. The undercover agent acting in her persona met Silva. Silva reiterated his desire to engage in sexual intercourse with the undercover persona and the two minor children. He was then arrested.
“We have no higher priority than protecting our children from sexual predators,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “This successful investigation has blocked sexual abuse of children and serves as a stern warning to those who engage in sexually explicit conduct with minors.”
“This recent predator arrest of a Brazilian traveling to Colorado demonstrates that the sexual exploitation of children is an epidemic crime locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Michael Holt, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Denver. “Our local HSI agents worked closely with our HSI Attaché Office in Brazil to identify and then arrest this predator suspect.” Holt oversees a four-state area, which includes Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
If convicted of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct the defendant faces not more than 30 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine. If convicted of travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a person under 12 years old the defendant faces not less than 30 years imprisonment, and up to life, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
This case was investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations.
Silva is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer.
A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone charged for committing a federal felony by Criminal Complaint as a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.
These charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty