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Child Exploitation

Southeast Texas man pleads guilty to attempted solicitation of a minor

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, announced U. S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The case was jointly investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Bryan Martin, 39, of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Feb. 21 agreed to the facts as described by the prosecutor regarding his offense. U. S. District Judge John D. Rainey accepted the guilty plea and set sentencing for May 21. Martin faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison, and up to life in prison.

Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 9, 2011, Martin began communicating with a child he knew to be 12 years old, over the telephone and the Internet. The communications were deemed inappropriate when discovered by the child's parent and were reported to the CCPD's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

An undercover officer began communicating with Martin in the persona of the child. During the communications, Martin expressed his desire to engage in sexual acts with the child. After devising a plan to meet with the minor to engage in sexual acts, Martin was arrested at his home on Dec. 8, 2011 on Texas state charges. Martin has since been transferred to federal custody following the Dec. 13, 2011 federal criminal complaint. Martin has remained in custody since his arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

This investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children using the Internet.

As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or via its online tip form. 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.