CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—Less than two months following his indictment, Corpus Christi resident Anthony Michael Puckett, 41, has entered a plea of guilty to online coercion and enticement of a child, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Puckett was indicted July 11, 2012.
Today, he admitted he used a facility and means of interstate and foreign commerce—a telephone and a computer connected to the Internet—in an attempt to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. Puckett began communicating with a then 14-year-old female on Mocospace in 2010. The communications led to a meeting between Puckett and his victim in Laredo, Texas, where they engaged in prohibited sexual activity. He further admitted he used the Internet and/or a telephone to communicate with the victim to further the relationship and to arrange several meetings in Laredo.
Puckett has been in custody, where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing, set for December 4, 2012. At that time, he faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life imprisonment.
The FBI was the lead investigative agency with assistance from the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Laredo Police Department.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”