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Westchester Man Arrested in Menands on Child Enticement Charge

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Dean Picariello, age 30, of Valhalla, New York, was arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to entice or coerce a child.  

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The criminal complaint alleges that, on November 4, 2020, Picariello initiated a conversation with an undercover police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl in a teen chat group on a popular social media messaging application.  Picariello engaged in sexually explicit conversation with the undercover officer, graphically describing the sex acts he would perform on the 12-year-old child when they met in person.  In late November, Picariello began exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a second undercover officer posing as the 12-year-old girl’s younger cousin.  On December 3, 2020, Picariello arranged to travel from Valhalla to Menands, to meet and have sex with the cousins.   When Picariello arrived at the prearranged meeting location in Menands, he was encountered by law enforcement officers and arrested. 

Picariello appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel.  Picariello will remain detained pending trial. 

The charge against Picariello carries a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. If convicted, Picariello would also have to register as a sex offender.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel Williams. 

Anyone with information about this defendant is encouraged to contact the FBI Albany Field Office at (518) 465-7551. 

This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc/

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