An Ohio seminary student was arrested for allegedly seeking to have sex with multiple babies in Mexico, authorities said.
Joel A. Wright, 23, was arrested on Jan. 29 at San Diego International Airport. He was allegedly on his way to meet up with a Mexico-based male tour guide he met online to arrange a trip to Tijuana.
The criminal complaint said the purpose of the trip was for Wright to have sex with multiple female infants, according to a news release from the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency (ICE). He met the male tour guide through an ad he posted on Craigslist.
An undercover agent reportedly received a tip about Wright’s inquiry and took over the email account. Wright, however, thought he was still communicating with the tour guide.
During the email conversations, “Wright allegedly stated that he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have intercourse with the child,” according to ICE's press release.
Wright booked a flight from Ohio to San Diego to meet up with the tour guide. The seminary student was reportedly planning to travel across the border to a Tijuana hotel, where he would meet the infants.
But Wright’s plans were foiled by special agents at San Diego international Airport, who arrested him and escorted him out with Homeland Security personnel.
Wright is now facing two felony charges: crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” to engage in illegal sexual activity, KTLA reports.
Special agent Dave Shaw issued the following statement, according to ICE's press release:
Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless of where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.
Wright is set to be arraigned on Feb. 1.