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Press Release

Former Federal Agent Sentenced to 126 Months for Enticing a Minor and Engaging in Sex Tourism in the Philippines

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

East St. Louis, Ill. – A Cahokia, Illinois man was sentenced to 126 months by the Honorable Judge Stephen P. McGlynn for Enticement of a Minor, Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct and Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in a Foreign Place. 

According to evidence presented during trial and sentencing, Joseph Albert Fuchs, III, a 55-year-old American citizen, met a 14-year-old girl while visiting the Philippines. Fuchs engaged in sexual conversations with the minor using Facebook and discussed ways to evade detection of her age when he would return to the Philippines to engage in sexual acts with her at a hotel.

Fuchs returned to the Philippines in March 2019 and engaged in sexual acts with the 14-year-old minor. During this time, Fuchs was a special agent for the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

USPSOIG provided their full cooperation into the investigation, and it was later revealed that Fuchs sent nearly $1,000 to the minor over a year long period.

“Knowing the consequences in the U.S., Joseph Fuchs, III traveled thousands of miles to take advantage of a young, impressionable foreign girl, enticed her with financial payments and tried to conceal his involvement with her,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Federal agents must be held to a higher ethical standard, and this sentence reflects the severity of the committed crimes.”

“This sentence sends an important message to all predators. We will not allow any crime against children to go unpunished,” said R. Sean Fitzgerald, special agent in charge for HSI Chicago. “We, alongside our law enforcement partners, are committed to holding these kind of criminals accountable for their heinous crimes. Our communities can help by being on the lookout for, and report, suspicious behavior to the proper authorities, regardless of whether the individual is in a position of public trust, like Fuchs.”

Fuchs is required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release. He will be on supervised release for 7 years after he is released from the Bureau of Prisons and will be required to register as a sex offender. Additionally, Fuchs was ordered to pay a total of $18,000 in fines.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from the HSI Attaché Manila, the Philippine National Police and the Cahokia Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ali Burns and Laura Reppert.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. 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 and internet safety for children, visit


Updated December 20, 2022