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Man Who Solicited Sex from Minor on Craigslist.com Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2011

Las Vegas, Nev. – A former Las Vegas resident who posted an advertisement on Craigslist.com stating that he was seeking a girl for sex and containing a pornographic picture of his body part, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and lifetime supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Johnson Colby Sheffield, 28, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced on Thursday, May 19, 2011, by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro. Sheffield was indicted on March 24, 2010, and pleaded guilty on November 5, 2010, to two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor. The recommended sentence was 13 years and the judge imposed a 10-year sentence.

According to the court records, on November 16, 2009, a Henderson Police Department detective initiated an undercover investigation involving the online solicitation of minors for sex. The detective found an advertisement in the casual encounter section of Craigslist.com from an individual later identified as Johnson Sheffield stating that he was seeking a girl for sex. The advertisement included two photographs – one of his face and another of a male sex organ. The undercover detective told Sheffield that he was a 14-year-old girl. Sheffield provided several more photographs, including one of his naked body part, stated he loves "bad girls," especially at her age, and asked if she would meet him at or near her home. Sheffield also asked the girl about prior sexual encounters. Sheffield then arranged to meet the girl the next day at a grocery store in Henderson. When Sheffield arrived at the grocery store the next day, he was arrested. Following his arrest, detectives executed search warrants on Sheffield's cell phone and found evidence that he had solicited several other minor girls for sex.

The investigation was conducted by the Henderson Police Department, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy J. Koppe and Roger Yang.

The case was brought 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 U.S. Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the U.S. Department of Justice, 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.

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