Missouri man arrested in Marion, IL after attempting to meet an 8-year-old

Missouri man arrested in Marion, IL after attempting to meet an 8-year-old

MARION, IL — A 38-year-old Missouri man has been sentenced in federal court to 35 years in federal prison after a Southern Illinois jury found him guilty in November of 2021 of trying to have sex with an 8-year-old girl and transporting child pornography.

Jason Dominik Tyler Rodriquez, formerly known as Jason Tyler Smith, was arrested in Marion, Illinois.

Court documents say he chatted for four days on an online dating application and had a telephone conversation with what he thought was a father willing to allow strangers to have sex with his 8-year-old daughter for $150.

The purported father was actually an FBI agent. During the conversations, Rodriguez indicated his interest in traveling to Marion, Illinois, from St. Louis, Missouri, to meet the father and the purported victim and engage in sexual acts with her.

On March 26, 2020, Rodriguez left St. Louis, Missouri, where he was employed as a nurse, and arrived at a business in Marion, Illinois. Law enforcement agents promptly arrested Rodriguez.

After his arrest, agents found $150 in cash on Rodriguez and an unopened bag of candy in his automobile.

Rodriguez had previously been told to bring the 8-year-old candy.

After his arrest, the agents also discovered Rodriguez had a cellphone in his possession with over 20,000 videos and pictures of child pornography.

This case was brought  as part  of Project  Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in
2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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