Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling Into the District of Columbia To Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct With a Minor
WASHINGTON – Wesley Breeden, 30, of Springfield, Va., pled guilty today to traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Breeden entered the guilty plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan is to sentence him on April 25, 2016. Breeden faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison as well as a fine of $250,000.
According to the government's evidence, on July 30, 2015, Breeden contacted an undercover officer with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, through a social network site. Over the course of the next several days, Breeden engaged in e-mail and text-messaging conversations with the undercover officer, whom the defendant believed was the father of an under-aged girl. During the course of these conversations, Breeden arranged with the undercover officer to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child.
On Aug. 4, 2015, Breeden traveled from Virginia to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C. When he arrived, he was arrested. He has been in custody ever since.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Abbate, and Chief Lanier commended the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea L. Hertzfeld, who is prosecuting the case.