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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Dec. 4, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Corpus Man Sent to Prison for Solicitation of a Minor

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Less than five months following his indictment, Corpus Christi resident Anthony Michael Puckett, 41, has been ordered to serve more than 14 years in prison for online coercion and enticement of a child, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Puckett was indicted July 11, 2012, and entered a plea of guilty Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos took into consideration the need to protect the public in the future and handed Puckett a sentence of 170 months. Additional information was also presented today regarding the persistence of Puckett in communicating with and otherwise victimizing the child after twice being contacted by state law enforcement and while in federal custody. In handing down the sentence, Judge Ramos stated her concerns about the unwillingness of Puckett to refrain from contact with his victim. He will further serve the remainder of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will be required to comply with numerous sex offender related special conditions of release including counseling, curfew, Internet access and restrictions on his places of employment and residency. Puckett will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

He previously admitted he used a facility and means of interstate and foreign commerce - a telephone and a computer connected to the Internet - in an attempt to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. Puckett began communicating with a then 14-year-old female on Mocospace in 2010. The communications led to a meeting between Puckett and his victim in Laredo, Texas, where they engaged in prohibited sexual activity. He further admitted he used the Internet and/or a telephone to communicate with the victim to further the relationship and to arrange several meetings in Laredo.

Puckett will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI was the lead investigative agency with assistance from the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Laredo Police Department.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."