Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrest of JESSE RODRIGUEZ on charges of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. The Complaint charges that RODRIGUEZ communicated with an individual he believed to be the mother of two minor girls via email and chat messages, and made plans to meet the mother at a coffee shop in Manhattan and then go to her apartment to engage in sexual activity with her minor daughters. RODRIGUEZ was arrested Sunday after he arrived at the designated meeting place, and was presented today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang, where he was ordered detained pending trial.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged, Jesse Rodriguez traveled to New York yesterday in the evil yet erroneous belief that he would engage in sex with two children. He allegedly possessed condoms and restraints for that purpose. Thanks to HSI and the NYPD, he was the one who was handcuffed, and now faces prosecution.”
Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said: “Rodriguez allegedly sought out the mother of two young daughters in order to perform sex acts with the girls. It is incomprehensible that a former public servant, employed to protect, would allegedly seek to take advantage on the vulnerability of a child. Law enforcement continuously targets child predators to ensure a child does not become a victim, and now, in this case, this man is behind bars and will need to face justice for his alleged actions.”
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Jesse Rodriguez’s alleged shameful attempt to pay for sex with two underage girls displays a disgusting, utter disregard for the rule of law in civilized society. The NYPD and our federal partners at Homeland Security Investigations and the Southern District will stop at nothing to identify, arrest, and prosecute anyone who engages in such alleged depraved behavior.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint sworn out today in Manhattan federal court and statements made during court proceedings:
Between April 4, 2018, through July 1, 2018, RODRIGUEZ, a former federal inspector with the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security, exchanged chat messages with a law enforcement officer operating in an undercover capacity, posing as the mother of a 13-year-old and an eight-year-old girl. During the course of these conversations, RODRIGUEZ told the undercover officer that he was interested in engaging in sexual activities with the minor girls. RODRIGUEZ described the explicit sexual activity that he intended to engage in with the purported minor daughters of the undercover officer and made a plan to travel from Minnesota to meet at a coffee shop in Manhattan to then go to a nearby apartment for purposes of engaging in sexual activity with the minor girls. RODRIGUEZ was arrested outside the coffee shop while in possession of condoms, lubricant, and restraints.
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RODRIGUEZ, 62, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is charged with one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, which carries a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Mortazavi is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.