Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Boston, announced that CHRISTOHER J. BRERETON, 34, of Fargo, North Dakota, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to traveling interstate with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2020, Brereton began chatting online with a minor female who had an online profile stating she was 18 years old. In February 2020, a law enforcement officer received permission to take over the minor’s account and, in an undercover capacity, the officer informed Brereton of the female’s true age of 15 years old. Brereton continued to chat with the “girl,” discussed engaging in sexual activity with her and made plans to drive to Connecticut meet her for sex.
On March 12, 2020, Brereton began driving from North Dakota and he arrived at a hotel in Meriden the next day. At the hotel, Brereton unpacked lingerie and sexual paraphernalia he had purchased for the planned sexual encounter. He was arrested later that day by New Haven Police on state charges after he drove to a location where he had arranged to meet the “girl.”
Bererton has been detained since his arrest.
Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for October 8, 2021, at which time Brereton faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
This matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.