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Press Release

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Robert Frenchie McGriff, 44, of Mesa, Arizona, pleaded guilty today to attempted transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, from March 2019 through June 2019, McGriff began communicating with an individual he believed to be a minor female on Instagram. McGriff told the individual that he was a pimp and actively recruited her to work for him in Arizona as a prostitute. In June 2019, McGriff traveled by bus from Phoenix, Arizona, to Turlock, California, with the intent of retrieving the minor female in Turlock and transporting her to work for him as a prostitute. McGriff was thereafter arrested by law enforcement.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Prosecutions Unit and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Whitnee Goins and Shea Kenny are prosecuting the case.

McGriff is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller on Sept. 9, 2024. McGriff faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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 Attorneys’ 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 those who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 24, 2024

Project Safe Childhood