News and Press Releases

Meridian man indicted on using internet to
entice minors to engage in illicit sexual behavor

March 14, 2011

OXFORD, Miss. – John Marshall Alexander, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, and Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson announced that:

James Harvey Bystrom, 37 a firefighter from Meridian, Mississippi, was arrested on a federal indictment, charging him with using Yahoo! Internet messaging to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.

He is charged with violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b), which makes it a federal crime to use facilities in interstate commerce, like the internet or cellular telephones, to attempt to persuade, induce or entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual behavior. If convicted, he faces no less than 10 years and no more than life in prison.

Bystrom made an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Jerry Davis in Aberdeen on February 28 and was released on a $20,000 secured bond. He faces trial on April 11 in Aberdeen before United States District Judge Sharion Aycock.

A copy of the indictment is attached. An indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (ICAC) helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. ICAC is administered by the Mississippi Attorney General and incorporates sheriff and police departments throughout the state, including the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Tupelo Police Department.

This arrest is the result of undercover operations conducted by the Mississippi Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and the Lee County Internet Crimes Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Roberts.




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