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Man pleads guilty to trying to transport girl for sex

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to attempting to transport a child from Las Vegas to Jacksonville with the intent that the child engage in sexual activity with him.

Javier Molina is a citizen of Mexico, and an immigration detainer has been placed on him. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison.

Molina was arrested May 30 at the Jacksonville International Airport and he has been in custody since that time.

According to court documents, on May 29, officers with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police Department received a phone call from an individual who advised that a girl had disappeared from her home in Las Vegas and was believed to be traveling by air to Jacksonville.

Officers learned that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had made a "missing persons" entry regarding a 14-year-old girl with the same name. A check of airline manifests confirmed that the girl was listed as a passenger on board a flight from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina.

JAAPD coordinated with officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, who intercepted the child at the Charlotte International Airport and took her into protective custody. The child had been scheduled to board a flight from Charlotte to Jacksonville that was due to arrive shortly after midnight on May 30.

As the expected arrival time for the Jacksonville flight approached, a JAAPD officer observed Molina in a waiting area in the JIA lobby. When asked by the officer, Molina advised that he was there to meet a passenger. Molina was subsequently detained.

During an interview, Molina admitted that he had entered the U.S. in 1999 or 2000 by paying a smuggler $700 to help him cross the border on foot near Laredo, Texas. Molina stated that he had previously engaged in sexual activity with the girl in Jacksonville before she and her family moved to Las Vegas. He also said he had sent the girl money to pay for a one-way airline ticket from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, and that he expected their sexual relationship to continue when the child returned to Jacksonville.