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Press Release

Grand Junction Man Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing Two Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

Grand Junction – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces a federal judge today sentenced Michael Tracy McFadden, age 51, of Grand Junction, to life in federal prison after being convicted of crossing state lines with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor under the age of 12, and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.

According to facts presented at trial, McFadden was a long-haul truck driver who took at least two children on multiple trips out of state. Over a span of at least six years, McFadden repeatedly sexually assaulted the children, both in his home in Grand Junction and in his semi truck in other states. Two of his victims bravely testified at trial, relating to the jury the countless times McFadden abused them.

Judge Christine M. Arguello sentenced the defendant on March 6, 2023. Judge Arguello presided over the five-day trial. The jury returned its guilty verdict on November 14, 2022.

McFadden was previously charged and convicted in state court with sexual assault of six separate children. However, his convictions were overturned on appeal due to a speedy trial violation, preventing any further state court prosecution.  Upon learning this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Division immediately launched an investigation into potential federal violations. McFadden was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2019, and rearrested on federal charges.

"As U.S. Attorney, my office is committed to ensuring that those who prey on innocent children are held accountable for their heinous crimes. Today's sentencing of Michael McFadden is a testament to our unwavering dedication to justice for victims of child sexual abuse,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “Of course, no punishment will make the victims and their families whole or give them back what the defendant stole from them. But a sentence that ensures the defendant will never be free in any community ever again will at least send the right message—that perpetrators of this kind of horrendous, unforgivable crime will die in prison.”

“This predator took advantage of the trusting nature inherent in children and committed unspeakable assaults against his young victims," said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “The FBI prioritizes the safety of society's most vulnerable citizens and will continue to relentlessly pursue criminals who target children.”

The investigation in this case was conducted by the FBI Denver Division with substantial assistance from the Grand Junction Police Department and the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Andrea Surratt and former Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Chaffin.

This case was 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 Attorney’s 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 For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page. 



Deborah Takahara
Public Affairs Specialist

Updated March 9, 2023

Project Safe Childhood