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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Canadian Citizen Pled Guilty to Enticing a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity

A Canadian citizen pled guilty to all four counts of a superseding indictment, which included two counts of enticing a person under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity, one count of traveling to the United States for purposes of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18, and one count of knowingly transporting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, by means of interstate or foreign commerce.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Scott Friedman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), made the announcement.

According to court documents and statements made in court, law enforcement agents established an undercover account on a social networking site for the purpose of finding individuals interested in engaging in sexual activity with underage children.

On October 9, 2014, Rene Roberge, 47, a user of the social networking site, sent a message to an undercover agent requesting a meeting with him and his minor son. Roberge stated that he was willing to travel from Canada to Florida for the meeting.

Between October 9, 2014 and November 7, 2014, Roberge utilized the social networking site and email communications to finalize his plans to travel from Canada to Florida, in order to engage in sexual activity with the undercover agent’s son, a person he believed to be 14 years of age. Roberge made reservations to stay at a hotel in Pompano Beach, Florida.

On November 9, 2014, Roberge flew into the United States and arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Roberge was apprehended and admitted to law enforcement that he had communicated with the undercover agent and his minor son via the internet. Roberge also admitted that he had booked flight and hotel reservations for the purpose of having sexual relations with the son in Florida. Roberge also admitted that he had planned to travel to Texas, following his visit to Florida, so that he could engage in sexual activity with a 15 year old boy he had met on the social networking site.

A forensic examination of the iPad Roberge had brought into the United States revealed between 150 and 300 files containing child pornography images.

Roberge is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, 2015 at 2:00 p.m., by U.S. District Judge Michael K. Moore. At sentencing, Roberge faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years imprisonment up to a statutory maximum term of life imprisonment.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and FDLE. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis Viamontes.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Updated November 30, 2015