Child exploitation sting sends Kountze man to prison

Child exploitation sting sends Kountze man to prison

A 45-year-old Kountze man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown announced Feb. 28.

John Edward Burns pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2017, to enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

According to information presented in court, on July 17, 2017, Burns began a conversation through social media and a mobile messaging application with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old female, but was actually an undercover investigator. During the course of the conversation, Burns attempted to persuade the child to send him nude photos of herself. Burns further made plans to meet the child and take her to a Tyler motel and engage in sexual intercourse. Burns was arrested on July 19, 2017, at a Beaumont park when he arrived to meet the person he believed to be a minor female.  

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was investigated by the HSI-ICE, the Beaumont Police Department and the Texas Attorney General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.

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