6 Missouri and Illinois men face federal solicitation of a minor charges

Illinois

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – Six men from Missouri and Illinois are facing federal charges after an FBI operation found them attempting to have sex with minors.

Maryland Heights 22-year-old Eric E. Hamilton II has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor and traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Godfrey C. Hubbard, 52, of Sorento, Illinois has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor. Justin Schneider, 33, of Edwardsville, Illinois has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor. Christopher M. Simmons, 30, of St. Louis has been charged with attempted commercial sex trafficking of a child, attempted enticement of a minor, and traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Michael James Smith, 39, of Barnhart, Missouri has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor. James Tiroch, 37, of Florissant has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said the charges come as a result of a FBI led operation that involved multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies. The agencies worked to find “internet users attempting to meet children for sex.”

The crimes allegedly occurred in the Southern District of Illinois.

“Children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation across the internet,” U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft said. “That’s why we are continually updating our investigative techniques and casting a wide net over a variety of online applications and other internet platforms where children are at risk. To anyone who would prey on our kids, know this: law enforcement is watching, and you will be caught.”

The six men charged are all “accused of using the internet to entice someone under 17 years old to engage in unlawful sexual activity,” The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said.

No actual minors were harmed in the two-day operation. Several of the men charged had incriminating items with them at the time of their arrest such as alcohol, sex toys, condoms, and candy.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said if the men are found guilty, they each face10 years to life in prison.

The men will be held without bond or released on electronic monitoring ahead of their trials.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

Latest News

More News