Kauai News

3 Active Service Members Accused of Soliciting Sex from Minors Online

Posted April 23, 2021, 9:58 AM HST

An undercover operation targeting child sexual predators on O‘ahu resulted in the arrest of three active-duty service members.

According to a press release from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) issued Friday, April 23, the marine and two soldiers used online platforms to solicit sex from agents posing as children.

“The military members also sent explicit photographs of themselves and asked for explicit photographs in return,” the release states. “Each was arrested when they tried to meet up with undercover agents.”

The service members face charges relating to the solicitation of minors.

The operation was part of “Operation Keiki Shield,” was conducted as part of the Hawai‘i Department of the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and included personnel from HSI Honolulu, NCIS, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service.

HSI supported the operation by providing undercover agents, intelligence research specialists, technological know-how, victim advocates, and a forensic interviewer. It took place earlier this month.

“Crimes against children are the worst of the worst,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Honolulu John F. Tobon. “HSI is committed to providing the necessary resources in cooperation with our partner agencies to catch these predators and most importantly to help the victims.”

As the federal law enforcement organization for the Department of the Navy, NCIS Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Hawaii Field Office Norman Dominesey, said NCIS exists to protect warfighters and their families from criminal threats, including those posed by child sexual predators.

“NCIS and our federal and local law enforcement partners in Hawaii remain committed to working together to proactively root out crime that threatens the safety of our military and civilian communities,” Dominesey said.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries.

HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in US law enforcement.

 
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