(STL.News) – A New Jersey man arrested by Rhode Island State Police and Homeland Security Investigations in January after he traveled to Rhode Island believing that he was going to have sex with a 9th grade student he befriended online was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison.
Amish Jayant Patel, 47, of Swedesboro, New Jersey, communicated online for nearly a month with a person he thought to be a 14-year-old, 9th grade Rhode Island student. During the exchange of messages, Patel sent the girl photographs of himself and several sexually explicit images. He arranged to meet with the girl in Rhode Island on January 5, 2020, purchase alcohol for them to share, and to engage in illicit sexual activity.
The person he was actually communicating with was a Rhode Island State Police Detective assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
According to court documents, when Patel arrived at T.F. Green Airport on January 5, he was followed by undercover law enforcement officers and agents as he deplaned, as he traveled to a local liquor store where he purchased alcohol, and then traveled to a pre-determined location where he was expecting to meet with the 14-year-old girl. He was arrested without incident.
Patel pleaded guilty on March 12, 2020, to traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual activity. At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. sentenced Patel to 46 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and to pay a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel James M. Manni, and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael S. Shea.