Authorities said Tuesday they intercepted a 17-year- old New Zealand boy at Los Angeles International Airport who had planned to meet a family member he became acquainted with on social media who authorities discovered was a sex offender.
Two Felony Convictions For Sexual Conduct With A Person Under 13
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said the boy arrived Monday. He was traveling alone on a one-way ticket to visit a male family member in Michigan who has two felony convictions for sexual conduct with a person under 13, officials said.
The boy, who was traveling with $26, indicated he was visiting the family member in Howell, Michigan, whom he met on social media websites about four years ago but has never met in person, authorities said.
“Minors Are Particularly Vulnerable”
Officers found that the family member is a registered sex offender with two felony convictions in 2001, including criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13 and second-degree sexual assault.
“CBP follows strict federal standards in the protection and well- being of minors traveling alone,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.
Boy Returns To New Zealand
“Minors are particularly vulnerable to sexual predators that commonly present themselves as individuals they can trust. CBP officers took decisive action to protect a potential victim from a convicted criminal.”
Under visa waiver provisions, the boy was found inadmissible into the U.S. and was returned to New Zealand, where he lives with a caregiver, officials said.