|“||Hello, Agent Cole.||”|
— Earlson after his arrest
Having a record of sexual offenses already, Michael abducted one-year-old Dustin Powers in Newark, New Jersey, in 1999. He took the boy to Mount Pleasant, Virginia, where he raised him to believe that he was his father. All the while, he molested him and placed pictures and videos depicting the sexual abuse online. When Dustin reached the age of six, Michael enrolled him in a local school under the name "Charlie Sparks" and also had Dustin participate in a boy's group run by the church.
When the IIU begins to close in on him (with Agent Katherine Cole even encountering him), Michael takes Dustin out of school and the boy's group and stops posting on the Internet for a year. When Dustin turns seven, Michael seals him in a hidden room in his house, monitoring him via a camera mounted to the wall of the room. Having lost interest in the boy, Michael decides to sell him in an online auction on his website, Fantasy Land, sending links to the auction to other pedophiles, with one named mehtevas (a school principal named Hayden Rawlings, whose screen name spells backwards reads Save Them) bidding $8,000 dollars. After several hours pass, with Hayden still on the lead, Michael gets a message from him saying that it looks like no one will outbid him and that he should just end the auction early.
Moments after receiving the message, Michael sees a news broadcast showing Hayden being arrested and realizes that the message was really sent by the authorities in an attempt to trap him. Cutting off the auction, Michael reopens it a short while later when the news gives out fake information made up by the FBI about the search for Dustin being conducted in Alexandria, a town some distance away. When the auction ends, Michael violently breaks Dustin out of the room with a sledgehammer, places him in a large suitcase, and heads out the door, off to meet the auction winner. Just as he begins pulling out of his driveway, Michael is surrounded by the BAU, who arrest him and rescue Dustin. Michael is last seen in an interrogation room, smirking at Agent Cole through the one-way mirror.
The unsub is a preferential pedophile, meaning he would actively target children with specific traits that he finds appealing, like hair color, age group, etc. He would seek out jobs that would give him as much access to children as possible. He would wander around residential neighborhoods, hijack home-wireless systems, and even communicate with children, often outside the very house they are at. He may even use a coffee shop with wireless access to find, locate, and arrange a meeting. The fact that he went from allowing Dustin to go to school to keeping him locked inside a tiny space suggests that he came very close to being caught in the past.
Michael would record his sexual abuse of Dustin either through photographs or videos, which he would upload to the Internet. Originally, Michael was fairly carefree with Dustin, allowing him to do things like attend school, but, after an encounter with the IIU, he stopped letting the boy go out in public and held him captive in a sealed room in his home, where he would monitor him using a camera mounted to a wall. He later tried to sell him to other pedophiles in an online auction on his website.
- Unspecified crime(s) which placed him in the Sex Offender Registry
- Unspecified date in 1999, Newark, New Jersey: Dustin Powers (abducted, molested, and raped repeatedly; later intended to sell; was rescued on September 27, 2006, at Mount Pleasant, Virginia)