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Press Release

Jury Convicts Syracuse Man of Attempting to Entice a Minor and Attempting to Transfer Obscene Material to a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Bruce Wakker, age 68, of Syracuse, was convicted yesterday of attempting to entice a minor into engaging in unlawful sexual activities and attempting to transfer obscene materials to a minor, following a 3-day trial. United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Alfred A. Watson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement.

The trial evidence established that from November 2019 to June 2020, Wakker exchanged thousands of sexually explicit text messages with people he believed to be a 9-year-old girl and her mother, respectively. In these text messages, Wakker, among other things, discussed performing different sexual acts with the 9-year-old and sent the 9-year-old pictures of his genitalia.  Wakker arranged to meet with the presumed mother and 9-year-old in person.  On June 11, 2020, he traveled from Syracuse to New York Mills, New York, for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse with the 9-year-old. Wakker was arrested shortly after his arrival.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2024, before United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby in Syracuse, at which time the defendant faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. He will also have to register as a sex offender. The defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

The FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force investigated this case. This task force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the Colonie Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carling Dunham and Douglas Collyer prosecuted this case.

This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s offices, 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 identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated October 5, 2023

Project Safe Childhood