CLEVELAND (AP) A former OH seminarian arrested for allegedly seeking to have sex with infants and young girls in Mexico was carrying $2,000 in cash along with baby clothes and a bottle in his luggage, a Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Sunday.
In an email, Wright allegedly said: ‘I want to adopt/ own a baby girl (under the age of three) and I want to have intercourse with her after I own her (but don’t be telling people that)’. The allegations include traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California. He is scheduled to appear in court in Monday.
His mother, Teresa Wright Poquette, who lives in Vermont where Wright grew up, said she did not believe the allegations.
Joel Wright was a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio.
Wright lost his status at the seminary when he left the campus without authorisation.
Father John Allen with the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus said Wright was a student there for one semester.
The arrest is the culmination of a months-long investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after an undercover agent engaged in an email conversation with Wright back in November, Fox Baltimorereported.
Federal officials also allege Wright made it to Mexico in 2014 with the intent of having sex with infants but was then duped out of his money without ever coming into contact with a child.
Photos provided by ICE show plainclothes agents taking Wright into custody on a sidewalk outside of a terminal at the airport, a spokeswoman for the agency said.
Wright was taken into custody by HSI special agents after his plane landed at Lindbergh Field on Friday morning.
According to the criminal complaint, after receiving a tip, an undercover HSI special agent took over an email account and began chatting with Wright.
The suspect believed he was still communicating with a Mexico-based male tour guide whom he had met after placing an ad on Craigslist, the news release said. Wright was then supposed to cross the border to a hotel in Tijuana, where he would meet the female infants he was planning to choose from, authorities said. That interaction ultimately led to Wright’s arrest.