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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Boston Man Convicted of Attempting to Purchase Sex With Minor in Undercover HSI Operation

Boston Man Convicted of Attempting to Purchase Sex With Minor in Undercover HSI Operation

Release Date: June 12, 2024

BOSTON — A Boston man was convicted by a federal jury June 10 of attempting to pay for sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Dimitri Shawn McKenzie, 29, was convicted following a three-day jury trial for one count of attempted sex trafficking of a child. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 24. McKenzie was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New England in November 2022 following an undercover operation targeting sex trafficking of children.

“Dimitri McKenzie was fully prepared to pay to sexually abuse someone he believed was a child. Instead of a child, he found himself face to face with an undercover HSI special agent, and after today’s verdict, he’s facing serious federal prison time,” said HSI New England Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Krol. “It’s a horrible truth that there are predators ready and willing to pay to harm children. HSI is working every day with our partners to find these individuals and bring them to justice.”

“Every single person who considers paying to have sex with a minor better take notice: If you are caught, you are facing at least a mandatory 10-year sentence in a federal prison. The reason people sell sex with little children is because there is demand for opportunities to engage in such morally reprehensible conduct. The only way to make progress in truly protecting kids from such predatory behavior is to both prosecute the men who traffic young girls and the men whose demand fuels this pernicious market,” said acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

In November 2022, McKenzie responded to an online post purportedly advertising two girls — ages 12 and 14 — available to perform sex acts in exchange for money in the Boston area. The post was a fictious advertisement by undercover HSI special agents. In subsequent text communications with undercover special agents, McKenzie agreed to pay $100 to have sex with the fictious 14-year-old girl at a local hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel, McKenzie met with undercover law enforcement posing as the purported seller in the hotel parking lot, provided cash in exchange for 20 minutes with the fictitious child and accepted a hotel key. HSI special agents immediately took McKenzie into custody.

The charge of attempted sex trafficking of a minor provides for a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Krol and Levy made the announcement June 10. Valuable assistance was provided by the Lexington, Waltham, Barnstable, Quincy and Cambridge Police Departments, the Massachusetts State Police and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

HSI plays an integral role in combating human trafficking by working with its law enforcement partners to deter, disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks that engage in it. Special agents use their expertise and rely on HSI’s authorities to seize assets and eliminate profit incentives, work with nongovernmental organizations to protect and assist victims, and bring traffickers to justice. HSI leads the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking to advance counter human trafficking law enforcement operations, protect victims and enhance prevention efforts. The CCHT integrates the efforts of every component within DHS involved in combating human trafficking, including criminal investigations, victim assistance, identifying and reporting human trafficking, external outreach, intelligence and training.

HSI’s Victim Assistance Program provides a critical resource to HSI investigations and criminal prosecutions. The Victim Assistance Program helps preserve victims’ and survivors’ rights, helps connect them with the services they’re legally entitled to receive, and provides them with the support they need to fully participate in the criminal justice process.

If you suspect someone may be a human trafficking victim, call the HSI Tip Line at 877-4-HSI-TIP.

Last Updated: 06/12/2024
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