You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 12, 2020

Syracuse Man Charged with Attempted Enticement of a Minor

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Bruce A. Wakker, age 65, of Syracuse, New York, was arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to entice or coerce a child.  

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The criminal complaint alleges that between November 15, 2019 and June 11, 2020, Wakker exchanged sexually explicit text messages with an undercover investigator who was posing as both a 9-year-old girl and the adult mother of the girl.  On several occasions, Wakker directly instructed the girl how to use various sexual objects and aids he purchased and mailed to her and her mother.  Earlier this month, Wakker discussed meeting the girl and her mother.  On June 11, Wakker traveled from his residence in Syracuse to New York Mills, New York, to meet with them.  Wakker was encountered by law enforcement and arrested. 

Wakker appeared today for an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart, who scheduled Wakker’s detention hearing for June 17.  Wakker will remain detained pending that hearing. 

This charge filed against Wakker carries a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  A 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. 

This case is being investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, including investigators from the Colonie Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Geoffrey Brown and Rachel Williams. 

Anyone who wants to provide law enforcement with information about the defendant should contact the FBI Albany Field Office at (518) 465-7551. 

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 Office, Prouect Safe Childgood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better located, 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc/

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 12, 2020