Corpus Christi Man Pleads Guilty to Online Solicitation of a Minor
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 35-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has admitted he attempted to meet an underage girl for the purpose of sex, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
David Lee Vann appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason B. Libby and entered a guilty plea to one count of online solicitation of a minor.
In June 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Corpus Christi Police Department—Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (CCPD-ICAC) conducted a joint investigation targeting individuals involved in online solicitation of minors. Vann was communicating with a person he believed was the mother of a 14-year-old female. In reality, he was talking to an undercover agent. Vann made arrangements to meet and engage in sexual activity with the mother’s minor female child.
Vann was apprehended as he arrived at the designated meeting place, at which time he was in possession of a box of condoms and lubricant. He also admitted to authorities that he had sent messages indicating his intention to engage in sexual acts with the child. Vann was also in possession of a cellular telephone. A forensic examination of the phone resulted in the discovery of 35 images and 20 videos of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose sentencing on Aug. 17, 2017. At that time, Vann faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, he also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which time the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet.
Vann was arrested on the federal charges in November 2016. He will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.
The case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez and Elsa Salinas, 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 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."