U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
November 21, 2014

Minnesota Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Traveling to Tampa to Engage in Sexual Activity with a Minor

TAMPA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Matthew William McLean (25, Minneapolis) pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and committing a felony sex offense by a registered sex offender. He faces a mandatory minimum term of 20 years, up to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

McLean was indicted on September 10, 2014.

According to the plea agreement, McLean, a registered sex offender from Minnesota, traveled to Tampa to meet a 14-year-old female with whom he was communicating over the Internet. McLean picked the minor up from her house, brought her to the Greyhound bus station, and purchased two bus tickets to Brownsville, Texas. Upon discovering that the minor was missing, her family contacted law enforcement who determined that McLean and the minor were on a Greyhound bus that had stopped in Tallahassee. Law enforcement officers recovered the minor victim and arrested McLean. McLean and the minor admitted that they had engaged in sex acts on the bus while traveling from Tampa to Tallahassee.

This case was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Tallahassee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.

It was 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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