Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Dennis Michael Wilkerson (40, Lake Mary) guilty of two counts of attempting to persuade, induce, and entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison for each count. Wilkerson has been ordered detained pending his sentencing hearing, which will be scheduled at a later date.
According to evidence presented during the trial, on October 22, 2014, an FBI Task Force Officer (TFO), working in an undercover capacity, posted an advertisement on Craigslist. Wilkerson responded by e-mail, inquiring about sexual activity with a 12-year-old “girl.” After a series of communications with the undercover officer, Wilkerson agreed to pay $50 to receive oral sex from the “girl.” A few days later, Wilkerson traveled to Seminole County to meet with the minor. He was subsequently arrested. Agents recovered $53 from Wilkerson’s pocket after his arrest. He acknowledged that the money was to be used as payment for the sex.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ilianys Rivera Miranda.
This case 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 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.justice.gov/psc.