CAMDEN, N.J. – A New York man today admitted attempting to entice a minor and traveling from New York to New Jersey to meet an individual, whom he believed was a 13-year-old girl, to engage in sexual activity, Acting U.S Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Eduardo Silva, 43, of Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty via videoconference before U.S. District Judge Rene Marie Bumb to an information charging him with one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and one count traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Sept. 5, 2020, Silva, while using an online social media application, sent a message to an individual he believed was an underage girl, but who was in fact an undercover federal agent. Silva asked whether the minor was “into older guys” and over the next several days sent a series of explicit online communications and text messages, discussing his intent to travel to meet the minor and engage in sexual activity with her. On Sept. 23, 2020, Silva was arrested when he traveled from the Bronx to a motel in Bordentown, New Jersey, intending to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.
The count of coercion and enticement of a minor carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison; the count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The charges also each carry a maximum fine of $250,000 per count. Silva will be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Cherry Hill Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina, and the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Pesce, for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Mateo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.