Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Haden said Wright was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" who wanted to prey upon non-verbal children.
"This is an extraordinary and shocking set of facts," the prosecutor told the judge. "This is a crime that is notoriously underreported."
Wright admitted that he was the author of numerous sexually explicit emails in which he described to a cooperating witness and an undercover federal agent how he intended to sexually assault various children in Mexico, up to 4 years old.
The defendant admitted that beginning in November, he placed ads on Craigslist Tijuana purporting to seek a female tour guide. When he received a response from a cooperating witness, Wright confided that he wanted to "adopt/own a baby girl (under the age of 3) and I want to have intercourse with her after I own her but don't be telling people that ... I won't pay until I have seen the baby and I will pay the parents then ... the cheapest baby under 3 would be good."
In another email to an undercover agent, Wright wrote he had "picked up an infant pain relief med and a pretty outfit which I think should fit the 1-or 2-year-old." Wright also wrote that he had purchased an American Airlines ticket to travel from Ohio to San Diego last Jan. 29.
Wright got off a plane in San Diego and called a number provided by the undercover agent, saying he had arrived. Wright was in possession of two cell phones and a duffel bag containing baby clothes, sleep aids, bottles, toys, candy and lubricant, prosecutors said.