U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
July 6, 2011
FALL RIVER MAN CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT WITH INTERSTATE TRAVEL WITH AN UNDERAGE FEMALE TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Fall River, Mass., man arrested last Thursday on a federal arrest warrant charging him with allegedly persuading a fifteen year old girl he met on the Internet to travel from Rhode Island to Massachusetts to engage in sexual activity, made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence Friday and was released on $50,000 unsecured bond and home confinement. Armand D. Thibodeau, 27, was arrested at his parent’s North Dartmouth, Mass., home by a team of federal, state and local law enforcement agents.
The arrest of Thibodeau was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to court documents and information presented to the Court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Rogers, at around midnight on June 30, R.I. State Police Troopers initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle allegedly driven by Thibodeau, travelling in excess of 75 MPH in Johnston, R.I. A fifteen year old girl was riding as a passenger.
Information gathered during the traffic stop by the troopers was forwarded to R.I. State Police Detectives and ICE agents assigned to the RI State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Based on the information gathered during the traffic stop and by members of the ICAC Task Force, a federal arrest warrant for Thibodeau and a search warrant was issued. The warrants were executed by ICE agents, Rhode Island State Police Troopers and officers from the Fall River and Dartmouth, Mass., Police Departments.
Armand Thibodeau is charged by way of a federal complaint with one count each of persuading a person under the age of 18 to travel in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity and engaging in illicit sexual activity.
A Complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.