Pennsylvania School Cook And Summer Camp Counselor Charged
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that Michael J. Barndt, a/k/a “mikecoach73,” age 39, of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint on June 19, 2013 with attempted enticement and coercion of a minor and attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2422(b) and 1470. These charges stem from communications in aid of and travel from Pennsylvania to Delaware to engage in sex acts with an individual whom Barndt believed to be a 14 year old girl. In fact, the defendant was communicating over the internet with a Special Agent employed by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
If convicted of the charges, Barndt faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten years of imprisonment and up to life in prison, fines of up to $250,000 for each offense, and a term of supervised release following any prison sentence of at least five years to life.
According to the Complaint, on or about June 7, 2013, Barndt posted an on-line personals ad on www.craigslist.com, “Real Teen Fantasy,” wherein Barndt expressed interest in a teenaged fantasy liaison. An undercover HSI agent posing as a 14 year old girl responded to the ad. Thereafter, Barndt, using screen name “mikecoach73,” engaged in a series of online chats with the undercover agent wherein Barndt both expressed his interest in engaging in sexual relations with the person whom he believed to be a 14 year old child and transmitted to the undercover agent photographs of his exposed genitalia to entice the “girl” to meet him.
On or about June 19, 2013, Barndt made arrangements to travel from his home in Pennsylvania to Delaware for the purpose of engaging in sexual relations with the person whom he believed to be a 14 year old girl. Barndt checked into a hotel at the corner of Route 202 and Naamans Road in New Castle County, Delaware. Barndt also traveled to the nearby Concord Mall and purchased lingerie for the child. Shortly thereafter, Barndt traveled back to the Concord Shopping Mall to pick up the child as planned, where he arrested.
According to the Complaint, Barndt is employed as a cook at the Lakeside School in Horsham Township, Pennsylvania during the school year. During the summer months, Barndt is employed as a camp counselor at “Blue Bell Camp,” in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2012, Barndt was also a middle school football coach in the Springfield School District in Montgomery County.
Resident Agent in Charge Jonathan Free, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations noted of the investigation, “HSI will relentlessly pursue those who would try to steal the innocence of Delaware’s children.”
Members of the public with any information about this case are encouraged to contact the Department of Homeland Security’s Wilmington office at (302) 428-0104 x7005.
The charges in the Complaint are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. McAndrew and investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. For further information, please contact AUSA McAndrew at 302-573-6277.