SACRAMENTO - Two men entered guilty pleas Thursday to charges of attempted enticement of a minor following their arrests in an undercover sting.
Nicholas Perry, 36, of Sacramento, and Eric Johnston, 23, of Folsom, were accused by federal prosecutors of engaging in email and text communications to arrange to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
The "girl" was the fictional daughter of an undercover detective with the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children task force who responded to a Craigslist ad on May 29, 2012 that was posted by a third defendant, Brandon Marks. Marks was seeking to obtain children's underwear in the advertisement, according to federal court documents. After a week of online and phone communication s between Marks and the detective, Marks agreed to meet the "father" with the intent to have sex with his "daughter," the prosecution charged.
Marks was arrested and pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor and sentenced to 12 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's office, Eastern District of California said.
Back to Perry and Johnston: the U.S. Attorney's Office said following Marks' arrest, he allowed law enforcement to take over his online identity. Marks had previously corresponded to Perry about the scheduled meeting with the man and his daughter. Perry communicated with Johnston about the meeting and offered to introduce the latter to the "father."
Law enforcement, posing as Marks, set up a meeting with Perry and Johnson with the intent of meeting the daughter for sex, court documents stated. Johnston and Perry were arrested at the meeting.
Each man faces a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney's Office says. They will be sentenced April 3.