News and Press Releases

Newport News Man Sentenced for Attempted Travel to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor Child

January 19, 2011

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Shawn Michael Brown, 20, of Newport News, Va., was sentenced today to eight years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for attempting to travel in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct.  

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Brown pled guilty on October 13, 2010.

        This prison sentence sends a clear message that individuals who sexually exploit innocent children will be held accountable for their horrific actions,” said John P. Torres, special agent in charge for ICE, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C. “HSI will utilize its vast resources in conjunction with our law enforcement partners to target those who seek to victimize children for sexual exploitation.”

According to court documents, Brown participated in an online forum which allows individuals interested in young boys to chat and share stories relating to their interests in young boys. In April, 2009, the defendant signed up with the forum using his actual name. Brown began communicating with a person, an undercover agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about the undercover’s seven year old nephew. In early July, 2010, plans were made for Brown to travel to Florida, where the undercover represented he lived, to engage in sexual acts with the undercover’s nephew.  On July 28, 2010, Brown was observed by ICE agents boarding the Greyhound bus that had been previously identified as being destined for Tampa, Florida.  An ICE agent also boarded the bus.  When the bus made one of its scheduled stops in Williamsburg, Brown was approached by the ICE agent, removed from the bus and arrested.  Following his arrest, Brown admitted he was traveling to Florida to meet the person operating undercover along with his seven year old nephew for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with the young boy.

            This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., Federal Bureau of Investigation, Williamsburg Police Department and Newport News Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa R. McKeel prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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