Brazilian arrested in sex sting waives review by grand jury

A Brazilian man jailed without bond on allegations he flew to Grand Junction to have sex with a woman, her 14-year-old stepdaughter and 4-year-old daughter formally waived his right Tuesday to seek additional review of his case by a federal grand jury.

Shackled, dressed in Mesa County Jail clothing and standing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice, 37-year-old Paulo dos Santos Silva Jr. said he understood his right to have prosecutors pursue charges by going before a grand jury, which would mean a probable-cause review by 12 citizens.

Silva was advised by Rice of possible penalties if convicted of federal felonies including travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and travel with intent to engage in sexual acts with someone under age 12. Silva faces a maximum possible prison term of 30 years, or a fine of $250,000, if convicted on either of the charges.

Silva, answering, “yes, ma’am” and “no ma’am” to a series of questions by the judge, told Rice he spent more than a year in the United States over the course of his life. He said he has spoken English since age 7.

Rice ordered the case back to her courtroom next week for arraignment and a discovery hearing.

Silva was arrested by federal agents Feb. 25 at Grand Junction Regional Airport after meeting a woman he believed to be “Genny,” with whom he allegedly exchanged messages about meeting for sex with her and her two young girls, according to an arrest warrant.

Using a screen name “MstrJohn,” Silva since December had been communicating about a meeting with “Genny,” who was in fact an agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


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