A former seminary student who admitted to trying to buy or adopt Mexican children for sex was sentenced Friday to 188 months in federal prison, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Authorities arrested Joel Alexander Wright, 23, at San Diego's Lindberg Field in January. Wright, of Columbus, Ohio, flew to San Diego after getting in touch with a Mexico-based tour guide who he thought was planning to take him to a hotel in Tijuana to meet infant girls, according to ICE.
The guide he was actually an undercover investigator with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations.
He flew to San Diego two months after he began posting advertisements on Craigslist Tijuana for a Mexican tour guide, according to authorities.
He told a respondent through email that he wanted to "adopt/own a baby girl (under the age of 3) and I want to have intercourse with her after I own her, but don't be telling people that. … I won't pay until I have seen the baby and I will pay the parents then. … The cheapest baby under 3 would be good."
At the time of his arrest, Wright had two cellphones and a duffel bag on him. Investigators said the bag had inside baby clothes, sleep aids, bottles, toys, candy and lubricant.
"The circumstances of this case were unspeakable, but today's sentence assures this individual won't pose a threat to children any time in the near future," said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego.
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