FLAGSTAFF – A resident of Ontario, Canada, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon, following his arrest Wednesday for traveling to the United States to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
Dilbagh Singh, 56, was taken into custody by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Flagstaff and Cottonwood Police Departments, and the METRO Narcotics Task Force. According to the criminal complaint, in January, Singh initiated a conversation in an internet chatroom with undercover agents presuming to be a 15-year-old girl named “Laura.” During these conversations, he stated he lived in Scottsdale and expressed interest in meeting her to engage in sexual activity.
On May 2, HSI special agents identified Singh when he arrived in Phoenix on a flight from Toronto, and observed him as he traveled to Flagstaff and checked into a local hotel. Singh was encountered the following day at the predetermined meet location and taken into custody without incident. At the time of his arrest, investigators discovered condoms, alcohol and soda he bought for his planned sexual encounter with “Laura”.
“Foreigners traveling to the United States seeking to engage in illicit activity with children are on notice; our tough laws will ensure they pay a high price for their criminal goals to victimize our children,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “HSI will continue to pursue child predators and make them accountable for their unconscionable intentions.”
Anyone with information about Singh – or his internet chatroom handle, “TYSON” – is encouraged to call HSI’s toll-free tip line 1-866-2DHS-ICE or 1-866-234-7423.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. If he is convicted of the charge of traveling to the United States to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, Singh would face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and he could be sentenced to as much as 30 years.
Singh will appear before U.S. District Court for his detention hearing Monday, May 8. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Brooks.