Kiwi teen stopped at Los Angeles Airport on his way to meet a registered sex offender he met online

A Kiwi teen who flew to the US to meet a convicted child sex offender has been stopped at Los Angeles Airport.

The 17-year-old arrived at LAX on Monday where he told US Customs officials that he was visiting the US to see a man that he made friends with on social media four years ago, Fairfax Media reports.

The teenager flew in on a one way ticket and only had $26 on his person. He said he planned to visit his friend at his family home in Howell, Michigan.

Upon looking into the story, customs found the man he had come to meet was a registered sex offender with two convictions to his name including sexual conduct with someone under the age of 13 and sexual assault.

Director of Field Operations at CBP Los Angeles, Carlos Martel told Fairfax Media the teenager was interviewed under federal standards for the protection of teenagers travelling to the United States alone.

"Minors are particularly vulnerable to sexual predators that commonly present themselves as individuals they can trust," Mr Martel said.

The 17-year-old has now been returned to New Zealand, where he lives with a caregiver.

New Zealand police say they are "aware of this matter and enquiries are ongoing".

Los Angeles Airport sign.
Los Angeles Airport sign. Source: Getty