PENSACOLA, Fla. - Kenneth Eugene Haynes, 60, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., pled guilty Wednesday to enticing a minor female over the Internet and traveling to Alabama to engage in sexual activity with her.
The guilty plea follows an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI out of Mobile, Ala., the Fairhope Police Department, Ala., and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
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 he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. 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 Oct. 1, bringing with him a sex toy and lubricant. Upon arrival at the meeting point, Haynes learned the minor was actually an undercover agent. Haynes was taken into federal custody and has remained in custody ever since.
Haynes' sentencing is scheduled for February 2011 before U.S. 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 30 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.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.
The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.