WARNING: This article contains descriptions of an alleged crime whose details may be disturbing to some readers.
SAN DIEGO — An Ohio seminary student was arrested by federal agents in San Diego on Friday for allegedly planning to travel to Mexico to have sex with multiple infants, authorities said.
Joel A. Wright, 23, was charged with crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He will be arraigned Monday.
According to KTLA, the man was taken into custody after an undercover ICE agent received a tip that prompted the agent to take over an email account and begin corresponding with Wright.
Agents believed the suspect was communicating with a Mexico-based tour guide he met after placing an ad on Craigslist, a news release said. Through email correspondence with an ICE investigator, the suspect 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, authorities say.
Prosectors say the suspect booked a flight from Ohio and allegedly planned to travel across the border with the tour guide to a Tijuana hotel, where he would meet the female infants.
Authorities were able to stop the suspect at the airport and Wright was taken into custody.
Anyone with information about suspected child predators or suspicious activity was encouraged to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s tip line at 866-DHS-2-ICE or complete its online tip form.