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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Brett Ferrell of New York Indicted in Vermont for Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Brett Ferrell, age 31, from New York, has been arrested and indicted for traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Ferrell made his initial appearance in federal court in Burlington on August 30, 2016 and he was arraigned on September 12, 2016. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered Ferrell detained pending trial.

According to court papers, in mid-August 2016, Ferrell made multiple postings on Craigslist seeking to meet girls under the age of 18 for the purpose of sex. Law enforcement officers responded to one of the Craigslist postings using an undercover persona of a 13-year-old girl. In multiple communications with someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl from Vermont, Ferrell expressed an interest in meeting to have sex. Ferrell, who lived in New York, indicated that he would travel to Vermont for such a meeting, and went as far as to make plans to meet at a particular hotel at a particular time for sex with this supposed 13-year-old. On August 29, 2016, Ferrell traveled from New York to Vermont for this illicit encounter, at which point he was arrested by law enforcement officers at the designated meeting place.

The charges against Ferrell are merely accusations and Ferrell is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, Ferrell faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, although his actual sentence will be advised by the federal sentencing guidelines.

The collaborative team investigating the case against Ferrell includes law enforcement agents from Homeland Security Investigations in Vermont and New York, agents from Custom and Border Patrol, and agents from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The United States is represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorney Kunal Pasricha. Ferrell is represented by Assistant Federal Defender Elizabeth K. Quinn.

Ferrell’s prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. In Vermont, federal prosecutors are teaming up with federal, state, and local law enforcement agents to identify, investigate, and prosecute those individuals who prey upon children and those that distribute, receive, or manufacture child pornography. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, including resources on internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 14, 2016