U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Rhode Island Man Admits to Travel With Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct After HSI Undercover Operation

Rhode Island Man Admits to Travel With Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct After HSI Undercover Operation

Release Date: July 10, 2024

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Warwick man admitted to a federal judge June 9 that he traveled to a local hotel via a commercial rideshare provider with the intent of sexually abusing a child he thought was 13 years old. The plea comes after a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) online, undercover operation targeting child sex traffickers.

Zachary Q. Baker pleaded guilty July 9 to the charge of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3.

In pleading guilty, Baker admitted that on March 10, 2023, he responded to an online advertisement for “escorts” that contained images of what appeared to be two minor girls being offered for a “short visit” and a “little fun.” Baker engaged in a lengthy series of text messages with a person he believed was offering a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old for sex for a fee.

After several hours of text messaging, Baker rode to a local hotel where he met with the person he believed was arranging a sexual encounter with one or both girls. The person he was communicating with and with whom he met was, in fact, an HSI special agent. Baker was arrested after acknowledging to an undercover agent that he was the person who engaged in the conversations with the agent and that he wanted to have sex with the 13-year-old girl for a fee.

The matter was investigated by HSI New England’s Providence Resident Agent in Charge 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: 07/10/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content