Pensacola, FL - Kenneth Eugene Haynes, 60, of Gulf Breeze, pled guilty this morning to enticing a minor female over the internet and traveling to Alabama to engage in sexual activity with her, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.
The two-count indictment alleged that between September and October of this year, Haynes engaged in a series of internet chats with a minor female, whom Haynes believed to be fifteen years old. During the guilty plea, Haynes admitted writing the minor female on multiple occasions and making plans during the course of these chats to pick the minor up in Alabama and take her out on his boat for sexual activity. Haynes traveled to Alabama to pick up the victim on October 1, 2010, bringing with him a sex toy and lubricant. Upon arrival at the meeting point, Haynes learned the minor was actually an undercover agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Haynes was taken into federal custody and has remained in custody ever since.
Haynes’ sentencing is scheduled for February 2011, before United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years’ up to a maximum of life imprisonment on the internet enticement charge. He also faces up to thirty years’ imprisonment on the interstate travel charge. Part of the guilty plea requires Haynes to forfeit those items he used to facilitate the crime, including the Mercedes-Benz he drove to pick up the victim, the 31.8-foot Regal boat he was going to use with the victim, as well as computer equipment, cameras, and cellular telephones.
U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation out of Mobile, Alabama, the Fairhope Police Department and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose joint investigation led to the indictment in this case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by 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 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.