NR 14-49 Former Florida Resident Pleads Guilty To Attempted Sex Trafficking In Ecuador
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Patrick R. Minga, 50, formerly of Cape Coral, pleaded guilty yesterday to attempting to induce and facilitate, for his own financial gain, the travel of an individual from Brevard County, Florida, to Quito, Ecuador, so that the individual could engage in illicit sexual conduct with minor girls. Minga faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for November 20, 2014.
During the change of plea hearing, Minga admitted that he advertised, on Craigslist, a sex tourism business in Ecuador that could facilitate lodging, transportation, meals, and unlimited access to females for a fee. An undercover task force agent observed the ad and contacted Minga. Over the course of several months, Minga tried to induce and arrange the travel of the undercover agent from Florida to Quito, where Minga advised that he could provide sexual encounters with minors as young as 13 and 14 years of age.
This 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.
On March 2, 2014, Minga traveled from Ecuador to the United States, where he was met by agents from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and ICE/HSI who subsequently arrested him in Huntsville, Alabama.
The investigation was conducted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Offender/Predator Registration and Tracking Unit, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Attorney’s Office. The lead investigator was Agent Mike Spadafora who was recognized earlier this year as the Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year, Brevard County’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and the United States Attorney’s Office Officer of the Year for his efforts in investigating and arresting dangerous offenders and predators who prey upon children
Sheriff Wayne Ivey stated, “I am so proud of the tireless efforts by this Partnership and our investigative team that dismantled this vile operation. One that was designed specifically to cater to Internet predators for the sole purpose of harming children. I am sickened by the activities of this individual and the child sex trade organizations that exist. Let there be no mistake, anyone who would do this to a child needs to be locked up for the rest of their life, where they can never harm anyone else.
For additional information concerning this investigations, please contact Major Tod Goodyear by pager through the Sheriff’s Office Communications (321) 633-7162.