Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wisconsin man charged with sexual exploitation of minor in Belize

- Press Release – - Washington - March 22, 2011 - Today a grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a one-count indictment against U.S. citizen Roland J. Flath for traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor less than 18 years of age, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin; John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell.

According to court documents, Flath, 71, of Wisconsin, allegedly traveled to Belize in July 2006 and subsequently sexually molested a minor girl from Belize. Flath was originally charged by a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in October 2010. He was arrested by the Guatemalan National Civil Police on Feb. 20, 2011, expelled to the United States and arrested in the United States by ICE agents and the U.S. Marshal Service.

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Flath faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Charges against Flath for aggravated assault of a minor are also pending in Belize.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Coblentz of the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of CEOS. This case is a result of investigative efforts led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Milwaukee and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office in Belize, with the assistance of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office in Guatemala, ICE HSI’s Attache Office in Guatemala, the U.S. Marshal Service and the Belize Police Department.

An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Flath is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Body found...

The body of a 66 year old American national was discovered this morning. According to Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, cause of death is "natural causes"...we will keep you updated as more details become available.

2011 Eco-Challenge dates announced

Preparations for the seventh annual Reef-Lagoon Eco-Challenge are well underway and set for Friday, May 14th and Saturday, May 15th, 2011. This highly anticipated race comes at the end of Reef Week each year, with the objective to bring awareness of how important it is to protect and conserve our very fragile eco system.
According to organizer Mr. Elliot Arceo, minor changes have been made to the rules of the race this year. In previous years, there were no guidelines regulating the type of paddles used. This had encouraged users to use state of the art paddles, which have affected the outcome of the race in the past. In an effort to level the playing field, Mr. Arceo informed The San Pedro Sun that all paddlers will be required to use the same type of paddles. The only acceptable paddles in the race are the paddles sold along with the kayaks.
The deadline for registrations is set for May 12. The price remains the same at Bze$200.00 per team. As this is an amateur race, it is once again opened to non-professional competitors cross country. Competitors will be competing for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, and the many fun prizes awarded.
Once again the race is scheduled to commence from the Old Football Field bright and early Saturday morning; head north to Bacalar Chico via a pre designated course, leading them through various lagoons that surround the island. The second day, the paddlers return to town where the race ends at Central Park.
There are plans for activities at the Central Park throughout the day on Sunday; however details of these activities will be announced as they come available. The organizers take this opportunity to encourage participants to start practicing – practice is crucial, as well as to encourage the teams from San Pedro and the rest of the country, both boys and girls to sign up and become part of this exciting race. The entire town is asked to come out and support all the paddlers and be a part of the Reef Week activities as well.