FBI agents arrested two Long Island men Thursday for conspiracy to have a minor engage in prostitution, part of a nationwide crackdown on sexual exploitation of children, officials said.
Kevin Slackford, 31, of Centereach, and Jose Donnelly, 21, who was described as homeless, were among more than 150 pimps and other individuals arrested in recent days as part of Operation Cross Country, according to officials.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Slackford and Donnelly each face a child pornography charge for allegedly emailing a sexually explicit picture of a minor -- a 16-year-old girl. At their arraignment in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, the men were not required to enter pleas.
U.S. Magistrate Ann Shields ordered Slackford and Donnelly held without bail.
The picture was sent to an undercover FBI agent pretending to negotiate a "date" with the victim, according to court papers filed by Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Bode.
The investigation into Slackford and Donnelly began with a tip from a confidential source that individuals "were prostituting a minor female," court papers said.
The 16-year-old victim was returned to her family after an investigation by FBI agents and Nassau County police, officials said.
Attorneys for the defendants declined to comment after the arraignment, as did Bode.
If convicted of the top charge, each faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.