Mexican Citizen Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Transport a Child for Illegal Sexual Activity
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Javier Guerrero Molina (age 34, Mexico) has pleaded guilty to attempting to transport a minor child from Las Vegas to Jacksonville with the intent that the child engage in sexual activity with him. Molina is a citizen of Mexico, and an immigration detainer has been placed on him. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years, up to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Molina was arrested on May 30, 2014, at the Jacksonville International Airport, and he has been in custody since that time.
According to court documents, on May 29, 2014, officers with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police Department (JAAPD) received a telephone call from an individual who advised that a female child had disappeared from her home in Las Vegas and was believed to be traveling by air to Jacksonville. JAAPD officers learned that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) had made a “missing persons” entry regarding a 14-year old girl with the same name. A check of airline manifests confirmed that this child was listed as a passenger on board a flight from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina. JAAPD coordinated with officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department (CMPD), who intercepted the child at the Charlotte International Airport and took her into protective custody. The child had been scheduled to board a flight from Charlotte to Jacksonville that was due to arrive shortly after midnight on May 30, 2014.
As the expected arrival time for the Jacksonville flight approached, a JAAPD officer observed Javier Guerrero Molina in a waiting area in the Jacksonville International Airport lobby. When asked by the officer, Molina advised that he was there to meet a passenger. Molina was subsequently detained. During an interview, Molina admitted that he had entered the United States in 1999 or 2000 by paying a smuggler $700 to help him cross the border on foot near Laredo, Texas. Molina stated that he had previously engaged in sexual activity with the child in Jacksonville, before she and her family moved to Las Vegas. He also stated that he had sent the child money to pay for a one-way airline ticket from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, and that he expected their sexual relationship to continue when the child returned to Jacksonville.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police Department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Jacksonville and Charlotte, North Carolina), the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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 the United States 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, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.