A 21-year-old Valdosta, Ga., man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison and a 15-year term of supervised release for using the Internet to try to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Brandon Hardy was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media.
Hardy was found guilty in March. At the time of the offense, he was an Airman and security officer in the U.S. Air Force, and was stationed at Moody Air Force Base, in Valdosta.
According to testimony and evidence introduced during trial, from April 23, 2011, through April 28, 2011, Hardy engaged in a series of online conversations with a person who he believed to be a 12-year-old child.
Unbeknown to him, the "child" was actually an undercover officer with the Florida Attorney General's Child Predator Cybercrime Unit. During the course of the online conversations, Hardy tried to entice and persuade the "child" to engage in sexual activity and arranged to meet the "child."
On April 28, 2011, Hardy drove his vehicle from his duty station at Moody Air Force Base to a home in St. Augustine to meet the "child" for the purpose of engaging in sex. Immediately after Hardy rang the doorbell at the home, he was arrested by deputies with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
A search of Hardy's vehicle revealed, among other things, a laptop computer containing a photograph depicting child pornography and a bottle of personal lubricant.