Pasco County Teacher Arrested For Enticement Of Minors
March 17, 2014
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that David Wendel Thompson (48, Seffner) was charged by a criminal complaint and arrested on Friday, March 14, 2014 for the enticement of minors. Thompson made his initial appearance today in Miami, Florida and is currently being detained. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
Thompson is a teacher at Centennial Middle School in Dade City, Florida.
According to the criminal complaint, Thompson used Facebook in an attempt to knowingly persuade two minor females, from the country of Belize, to engage in sexually explicit conduct. In February 2014, Thompson had sexually explicit conversations with a 13 year old and a 15 year old female in Belize. In those conversations, he discussed flying to Belize to meet the minors and engage in sexual activity with them. On March 14, 2014, Thompson took a flight from Tampa, Florida to Belize City, Belize, with a layover in Miami, Florida. He was refused entry into Belize and arrested in the Miami International Airport.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.