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Press Release

Punta Gorda Man Rides Bicycle Approximately 3 Hours To Meet Child For Sex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Dylan Joseph Thibodeau (23, Punta Gorda) with enticement of a minor and transfer of obscene material to a minor. If convicted on all counts, Thibodeau faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. Thibodeau made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed today and was ordered detained pending trial.   

According to the complaint and court proceedings, in August 2022, Thibodeau began texting with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old child. The child was actually an undercover officer. Over the course of three and a half months, Thibodeau made plans to engage in oral and anal sex and impregnate the child before she turned 18 years old. Thibodeau also requested that the child produce nude images of herself to send him and he sent the purported child sexually explicit photos of himself.

On December 3, 2022, Thibodeau rode his bicycle approximately three hours from Punta Gorda to North Port to meet the 14-year-old for sex. Law enforcement apprehended Thibodeau when he arrived at the predetermined location.

A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the North Port Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Abigail K. King.

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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.

Updated December 5, 2022

Topics
Project Safe Childhood