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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Manteno, Illinois, Man Sentenced to 96 Months in Prison for Attempted Enticement of a Minor and Use of Interstate Facilities to Attempt to Transmit Information about a Minor

URBANA, Ill. – A Manteno, Illinois, man, Joseph Longanecker, 42, was sentenced on July 12, 2022, to 96 months in prison for attempted enticement of a minor and use of interstate facilities to attempt to transmit information about a minor.

At the sentencing hearing before United States District Judge Michael M. Mihm, the government presented evidence that on or about February 14 to 15, 2020, Longanecker knowingly attempted to persuade, induce, and entice an individual whom he believed had not attained the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity. On those same dates, Longanecker also knowingly used a facility and means of interstate commerce, namely, the internet and a cellular telephone, with the intent to transmit the name and address of another individual who had not attained the age of 16, and he did so with the intent to entice, encourage, offer, and solicit that person to engage in sexual activity.

Longanecker was indicted in March 2020 and pleaded guilty in February 2022. He was taken into the custody of the United States Marshals after the sentencing hearing.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Office, with the assistance of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office; Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, and the Bradley Police Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon O’Brien, also an Assistant Attorney General for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, represented the government in the prosecution.

“Children are among the most vulnerable victims, and Individuals who exploit them must be held accountable for their reprehensible actions,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “I am thankful for the collaboration and work of the dedicated men and women who represent different law enforcement agencies that came together to ensure justice was served in this case.”

“Each year hundreds of children fall victim to online crimes,  said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. "The FBI implements proactive techniques as part of its effort to stop offenders from taking advantage of the innocence of children."

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. 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.

Updated July 14, 2022