BEAUMONT, Texas – An East Texas man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for enticing a minor.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown, Eastern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Beaumont Police Department and the Texas Attorney General.
John Edward Burns, 45, from Kountze, Texas, pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2017, to enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison Feb. 28 by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, on July 17, 2017, Burns began a conversation through social media and a mobile messaging application with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl, but was actually an undercover investigator. During the course of the conversation, Burns attempted to persuade the child to send him nude photos of herself. Burns further made plans to meet the girl and take her to a Tyler, Texas, motel and engage in sexual intercourse. Burns was arrested on July 19, 2017, at a Beaumont park when he arrived to meet the person he believed to be a minor female.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice, Eastern District of Texas.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.