Fort Meade Man Convicted for Enticing a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury today convicted Pedro Antonio Del Granado, age 49, of Fort Meade, Maryland, for enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. After the jury returned its verdict, U.S. District Judge George L. Russell ordered that the defendant be immediately taken into custody and detained pending sentencing.
The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the evidence presented at his four day trial, from October 23 through October 30, 2014,Del Granado used email messages to attempt to entice a person whom he believed to be a 13 year old girl to engage in sexual activity. In fact, Del Granado was communicating with an undercover Baltimore County Police detective posing as a 13 year old girl. Witnesses testified that Del Granado responded to an advertisement the undercover detective placed on an internet website. The undercover detective and Del Granado continued communicating over the next several days. During their conversations, the undercover detective posing as a 13 year old girl mentioned several times that she was 13 years old. Despite that, Del Granado asked about meeting the 13 year old girl and discussed what they would do at that time, including having oral sex.
On October 30, 2014, Del Granado and the undercover detective agreed to meet and the undercover detective provided a location. Del Granado advised the undercover detective that he would be driving a black SUV. Members of the Baltimore County Police Department set up surveillance at the address. When Del Granado arrived at the location he was arrested. A cellular phone containing most of the emails between the Del Granado and the undercover detective was found in his vehicle. Del Granado told law enforcement officers that he was there to meet a 20-year old woman even though the emails from the undercover detective said the girl was 13 years old.
Del Granado faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Judge Russell has scheduled sentencing for May 13, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, HSI Baltimore, and Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn B. Ducao and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Tang, who prosecuted the case.