U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
May 11, 2011
NEW JERSEY SEX OFFENDER INDICTED IN RHODE ISLAND ON CHARGES OF INTERSTATE TRAVEL TO ENGAGE IN SEX WITH A MINOR,
DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A New Jersey man with three previous State of New Jersey convictions for crimes against children, including child endangerment and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of thirteen, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on Wednesday on charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual acts with a minor, enticement of a minor, and distribution of child pornography.
The six count indictment against Donald J. Jones, III, 46, of Pemberton, New Jersey, was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Jones was arrested in Providence on April 8, 2011, as he exited a bus from New York, having traveled from his home in New Jersey to Rhode Island in an alleged scheme to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
According to the State of New Jersey sex offender registry, Donald J. Jones, III is a level two child sex offender, convicted in 1993 on charges of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Both offenses were against a female under the age of 13.
According to court documents and information previously presented in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Rogers, in late March, 2011, Postal Inspector Jay Stern, a member of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), initiated an undercover investigation for pedophiles on the Internet, focusing on forums commonly utilized to trade child pornography and chat with others of similar interests. Inspector Stern observed a posting by an individual later identified as Donald Jones, III, which allegedly indicated that he was seeking a very young female whose mother or father would allow him to engage in sex with their child.
Posing as a parent, Inspector Stern began communicating with Jones over the Internet. During those communications Jones allegedly transmitted numerous videos containing child pornography to Inspector Stern, and allegedly made arrangements to travel to Rhode Island to allegedly engage in sexual acts with a minor female.
An indictment 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.
Jones, who has been detained since his arrest, if convicted, faces a potential sentence of life imprisonment.
Postal Inspectors and the RI ICAC Task Force were assisted in their investigation of Jones by ICE agents in New Jersey and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Rhode Island State Police (RISP) ICAC Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the RISP Detective Bureau, and comprised of six State Police detectives, detectives from the Providence; West Warwick; Coventry; Warwick; Johnston; and Pawtucket Police Departments, an agent from ICE - Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and an agent from the United States Postal Inspectors’ Office. The objective of the RISP ICAC is to form strong working relationships among federal, state and local law enforcement in order to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.