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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

California Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Traveling to Syracuse Intending to Engage in Sexual Conduct with a Child

UTICA, NEW YORK – Edward Mercado, age 35, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced today to serve 7 years in federal prison for traveling to New York from California for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a 10-year-old child. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of his previous guilty plea, Mercado admitted that from May of 2021 through June of 2021 he engaged in numerous telephone conversations and exchanged sexually explicit text messages with an undercover officer posing as the mother of 10-year-old girl.  In these telephone calls and text messages, Mercado expressed a desire to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the child.  Mercado further admitted that on June 3, 2021, he traveled from California to Syracuse, New York in order to meet with the child and engage in sexual conduct with her at a location in the Ithaca area.  Mercado was arrested after arriving at the Syracuse airport and has been in custody since that date.

United States District Judge David N. Hurd also imposed a 15 year term of supervised release, which will start after Mercado is released from prison, and ordered him to pay a $3,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Mercado will also be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was investigated by the FBI Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Brown as a part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 3, 2022