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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 5, 2013

Two Men In Unrelated Cases Sentenced To Federal Prison For Child Exploitation Crimes

DENVER – Two men were sentenced this week to serve federal prison sentences for child exploitation crimes, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced.  The cases of the two men were unrelated.

Michael Burch, age 31, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 121 months in federal prison, followed by 10 years on supervised release, for the crime of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, namely engaging in a sex act with a person under 18 years of age.  Burch appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing’s conclusion.

According to the stipulated facts in Burch’s plea agreement, after numerous internet chats and several phone calls, on August 22, 2012 Burch left Seattle, Washington by commercial bus, arriving in Grand Junction at 3:20 a.m. on August 24, 2012.  He thought he was meeting a single mother with two girls, one age 4 and the other age 14.  In fact, the single mother he was communicating with was actually an undercover agent.  Once Burch arrived in Grand Junction he was placed under arrest.

Paulo dos Santos Silva, Jr., age 38, and a citizen and national of Brazil, was also sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 148 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years on supervised release, for the crime of attempted coercion and enticement.  Silva appeared at his sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the hearing’s conclusion.

According to the stipulated facts in Silva’s plea agreement, after multiple sexually explicit internet chats and a phone call, on February 15, 2012, Silva flew from Brazil to Grand Junction to meet a single mother with  two girls, ages 4 and 14.  In fact, the single mother was actually an undercover agent.  At approximately 11:00 a.m., after arriving at the Grand Junction Airport, Silva was arrested.

“Anyone who travels great distances to have sex with children is an especially dangerous predator,” said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver.  “To protect the most innocent and vulnerable members of our communities, our special agents in Homeland Security Investigations take an extremely active role to identify and ultimately remove these predators from society.”

These cases were investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Burch was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer.  Silva was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."

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Updated June 22, 2015