A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agent has been commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel for his work in an international child predator case with ties to Kentucky.
HSI Special Agent Michael Romagnoli was commissioned with the highest award given by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, ICE said. The recognition stems from a case involving Solomon Blue Waters, a British national, interacting with a 14-year-old girl in Kentucky on a social media site. The conversations eventually became sexually explicit and Waters attempted to meet with the teenage girl in the United States.
Upon arrival at the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., Waters was arrested by a team of law enforcement officials and charged with traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and with traveling to the United States to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
“It took a tremendous amount of international cooperation to stop Waters before he had the opportunity to carry out his intentions with the young girl,” said Romagnoli of HSI Chicago. “It was truly an international collaborative effort.”
Detective Sergeant Nathan Coutts of the London Metropolitan Police’s International Assistance Unit was also commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel at the ceremony for his work with the Waters investigation.
At the commissioning, the Kentucky House of Representatives went on to express their “sincere expressions of gratitude” for their “immeasurable contributions to this vital effort,” ICE said.
“I’m from Kentucky; so for me, it is truly an honor to be recognized by the commonwealth,” said Romagnoli. “You don’t get into law enforcement for accolades, but when you get a chance to contribute to an international investigation that ultimately puts a bad guy in jail, it is very gratifying.”