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El Paso man gets 10 years in prison for coercion of a minor who turned out to be undercover FBI employee

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EL PASO, Texas -- An El Paso man received 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a child into sexual activity.

Officials say, Lawrence Allen Schmidt, 53, thought he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl via social media. Unbeknownst to him, he was actually communicating with an undercover FBI employee.

Investigators say the Internet conversation between Schmidt and the FBI employee became sexual, and Schmidt arranged to meet at her house. Upon arrival, officials say Schmidt was found with condoms, lubricant, and candy in his possession.

On April 4, 2022, Schmidt pleaded guilty to one count of coercion or enticement of a minor.

The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Department of Public Safety, and El Paso Police Department investigated this case, which was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to fight the sexual exploitation of children.

“Crimes against children are some of the most reprehensible acts that law enforcement is determined
to prevent and punish once they occur,” said Jeffrey R. Downey, FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge, "We encourage parents to speak with their children about the dangers of online predators who use popular apps, games, and websites and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Kerry Mannix


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