A federal grand jury in Sacramento has indicted four men -- from Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, Folsom and Oroville -- charging them with attempting to entice a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct.
The men were identified while they were online seeking to have sex with minors, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. In each case, the men allegedly traveled to meet a fictional minor and were met instead by law enforcement officers.
Brandon Marks, 25, of Rancho Cordova was indicted June 21 and charged with attempted enticement of a minor, as well as two counts of receipt and two counts of distribution of child pornography. Nicholas Perry, 34, of Sacramento and Eric Johnston, 21, of Folsom were indicted today and charged with a single count of attempted enticement of a minor.
According to court documents, members of the Sacramento Crimes Against Children Task Force responded to an online advertisement allegedly placed by Marks. An undercover officer arranged to bring a fictional 13-year-old girl to a local hotel so Marks could have sex with her. When Marks arrived at the hotel, he was arrested. Marks also allegedly sent law enforcement agents multiple images of child pornography through his email.
Court documents further allege that Marks contacted Perry to tell him about the planned meeting with the fictional 13-year-old girl and put him in touch with the undercover agent. Perry then allegedly arranged a meeting at the local hotel to have sex with the girl and suggested to the undercover agent that Johnston could participate. He is accused of providing Johnston with contact information for the agent.
Johnston allegedly contacted the undercover agent and asked to participate in the meeting that Perry had set up with the girl. When Johnston arrived at the hotel the following day, he was arrested. Authorities said Perry arrived about 45 minutes later and was also taken into custody.
Michael Adam Cruz, 22, of Oroville also was indicted today by the grand jury and charged with a single count of attempted enticement.
According to court documents, task force members responded to an online advertisement placed by Cruz seeking a partner who looked like a minor for sexual acts. He then allegedly initiated contact with an undercover law enforcement officer who was posing as a 13-year-old. Authorities said Cruz arranged to meet the fictional girl in Oroville to have sex with her and her fictional 13-year-old friend. He was arrested when he arrived at the meeting location in Oroville.
All four men are being held in Sacramento County Jail without bail.
The Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department with agents from federal, state and local agencies. It investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement and sex trafficking.