A New Port Richey man was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of enticement of a minor and with producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography.
The indictments follow an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to the indictment, between 2015 and January 2017, William Matthew Napolitano, 35, of New Port Richey enticed and coerced a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Napolitano is also charged with persuading a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography in June 2015.
If convicted on all counts, Napolitano faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.
Any person who was a victim, or has knowledge of someone who may have been a potential victim of this individual, is urged to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (347-2423) or at http://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray, with the office of U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, Middle District of Florida.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.
Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children.
In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.
Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
(Make it hard for predators to hide; download the Operation Predator app today from iTunes or Google Play. Courtesy of ICE .gov and YouTube. Posted on Dec 14, 2016.)