Texas man sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison for traveling to Lake Charles to have sex with minor
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that a Texas man was sentenced to 57 months in prison for traveling to Lake Charles to have sex with a 12 year old.
Wendell Eaves, 61, of Kirbyville, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey on one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor. He was also sentenced to 20 years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender. According to the June 11, 2018 guilty plea, Eaves communicated with a group of people who said they had a 12-year-old female available for prostitution. The defendant planned to meet the girl at a Lake Charles casino on September 22, 2017, but law enforcement uncovered the plan and arrested him at the casino.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp or through the Operation Predator smartphone application www.ice.gov/predator/smartphone-app. Tips may be submitted anonymously.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Lake Charles Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.