The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that it has filed a plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Scranton today. The agreement is with Mark Kandel, age 53, of Peckville. In the agreement, Kandel will acknowledge that he engaged in the online enticement of minors and committed the offenses from January 2012 through November 2012.
The agreement, which must be accepted by the court, calls for a period of incarceration of at least 13 years but up to 19 years, to be determined by the Judge at the time of sentencing. As part of the plea agreement, Kandel will also receive a lifetime term of supervised release upon the completion of any term of incarceration and, will be subject to the registration and reporting requirements of the Adam Walsh Act.
Kandel was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2012 on five counts of online enticement of a minor. He was taken into custody by federal agents. He remains detained.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative 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 internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
This investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and the Blakely Police Department. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.