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High-tech unit makes arrest in sex case

By Josh Noel
Sourse: 2theadvocate NEWS
Date: October 17, 2003

Cyber Crime A man expecting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl whom he met online instead found himself Thursday morning face-to-face with a burly investigator from the state Attorney General's Office.

Ufuoma P. Onosakponome, 25, of New Orleans, was later booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Bond was set at $5,000.

Assistant Attorney General James Piker said an agent from the High-Tech Crime Unit spent two weeks posing as the girl while talking with Onosakponome in an Internet chat room.

Onosakponome missed the first scheduled meeting with the "girl" at a Baton Rouge hotel earlier this week, but arrived punctually on Thursday, at 11 a.m., with "a whole bunch of condoms," Piker said.

Dressed in jeans, a short-sleeved button-down shirt and white tennis shoes, Onosakponome offered no comment as investigators led him to a car that took him to prison.

The arrest was the first by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The group was formed in March, and plans to stage such stings regularly.

"We want people to know that Louisiana is not backwoods, and if you come to our state to have sex with a minor, you will be caught," Piker said.

Investigators got a search warrant and confiscated Onosakponome's computer Thursday afternoon, he said.

Onosakponome's wife said she had been told her husband was driving a friend to Baton Rouge to visit another friend, Piker said.

"She was pretty surprised and upset," he said.

Investigators conducted the sting from a sparsely decorated office in a downtown building, Piker said.

The agent took a "passive role" in the chat room, identifying himself as a 14-year-old girl, then waiting to be contacted.

Onosakponome wrote that he wanted to make the girl "feel like a woman," Piker said.

"For this one, there is 150 to 200 more who we don't catch," Piker said. "Hopefully this will have some deterrent value."

Sounding like a 14-year-old girl isn't so easy for an adult male, Piker said. During the eight months since the task force was formed, agents have studied to refine their techniques.

"My kids are a wealth of information," he said of his teenage sons. "Especially for the jargon they use online."

The U.S. Attorney's Office and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office have conducted several similar stings this year, according to news reports.

In April, Salmen High in Slidell became the first school in the country to adopt I-Safe America, a program to keep children aware of cybercrime.

Original article

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