Jacksonville Man Convicted Of Attempting To Entice A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity
Ocala, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury today found Michael A. Collier (48, Jacksonville) guilty of attempting to entice a child to engage in sexual activity. Collier faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, up to a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing has not yet been set. Collier was indicted on October 31, 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Collier replied to an Internet posting that he thought was posted by a 13-year-old girl. After exchanging e-mails, text messages, and having cell phone conversations with the "13-year-old girl," Collier traveled more than an hour, from Orlando to Lake County, in order to have sex with her. Testimony revealed that Collier stopped at a convenience store and purchased condoms, beer, and cigarettes while on the way to meet the child. Unbeknownst to Collier, the individuals that he communicated with were undercover law enforcement officers. When Collier arrived at the home to have sex with the child he was arrested by deputies from the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
This case was investigated by the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the FBI as part of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. In addition, this specific operation included members of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office and Citrus County Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.
It is another case 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 (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov and click on the tab "other resources."