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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Operation Kick Boxer Results in Arrest of Sauk County Man Seeking to Have Sex with a 14-Year-Old

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Zachary C. Wood (age: 45) of Merrimac, Wisconsin, was charged via a criminal complaint following his October 12, 2020, arrest by local and federal authorities.

Wood was arrested pursuant to Operation Kick Boxer, a collaborative effort involving the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, https://go.usa.gov/x7qqY.

According to court filings, Wood began exchanging instant messages with an individual whom he believed to be the parent of a 14-year-old girl living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Wood expressed repeated interest in engaging in sexual activity with the 14-year-old and children as young as three years-old. Wood also sent pornographic images of children engaged in explicit sexual activity.

In actuality, Wood was communicating with a law enforcement agent working as a part of Operation Kick Boxer.  Wood was arrested upon his arrival in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Wood faces charges of using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b), and distribution of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2).  He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years and up to a lifetime of imprisonment if convicted of those charges.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. 

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

 

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For further information contact: Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales

Kenneth.Gales@yahoo.com

(414) 297-1700

 

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Updated October 15, 2020