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Thursday, October 23, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Florida Man Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison on Charge of Traveling to Sexually Exploit a Minor

WASHINGTON – A Florida resident was sentenced today to 97 months in prison on one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta and Special Agent–in-Charge of the FBI’s Miami Division Jonathan I. Solomon announced. Bobby Minnis, 46, was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck to pay a $7,500 fine and to serve a lifetime of supervised release following his prison term.

According to information presented at the plea hearing in August 2008, Minnis flew from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Texas to meet a 14-year-old minor in 2005 and traveled by car back to Fort Lauderdale with the minor.  Minnis admitted that once he was back in Florida he engaged in sexual acts with the minor.  In addition, Minnis admitted that he used the Internet to communicate with the minor prior to traveling to Texas and misrepresented his identity to persuade the minor to travel with him and engage in sexual conduct.

In a prior Florida state prosecution on related charges involving the same minor, Minnis was convicted on five counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of interference with custody of a minor. For these crimes, Minnis was sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Minnis was also convicted of solicitation to commit murder because he attempted to have the minor killed prior to the state trial.  Minnis was sentenced to five years in prison for the solicitation to commit murder charge, which will run consecutive to the 15 years.  Minnis was  already  serving his prison sentence on the state conviction prior to  his plea on the federal case . Sixty months of Minnis’ 97 month federal sentence will run consecutive to his sentence for solicitation to commit murder and 37 months will be served concurrent to his sentence resulting from the state conviction of lewd and lascivious battery.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Waugh-Farretta of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Alecia Riewerts of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).  The investigation was handled by the FBI, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the High Tech Investigative Unit of CEOS.