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Sailor sentenced for sex crime involving minor

Camden County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Aaron Flores
Camden County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Aaron Flores

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A sailor last stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay was sentenced this week in Brunswick, Georgia, to more than 17 years in prison for a sex crime involving a minor.

Aaron Flores, who was arrested in September 2013, pleaded guilty in May to the charge of online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. He also faces 20 years of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.

"The defendant's predatory behavior warrants the significant sentence imposed," said U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver. "The U. S. Attorney's Office aggressively prosecutes individuals, like this defendant, who are involved in such destructive acts towards our children."

Flores, 26, was a 25-year-old Navy machinist's mate 3rd class when he contacted a 13-year-old girl living in Camden County, and, through a series of chats, convinced her to sneak out of her home during the night and travel with him to his on-base apartment to engage in sexual activity, according to evidence presented during the guilty plea and sentencing hearings.

A short time later, a concerned neighbor alerted the girl's parents that the girl had sneaked out, which led to law enforcement involvement.  Images and chats on Flores's phone, as well as further investigative efforts in other jurisdictions, revealed efforts to solicit other minors.

Posing as a 15-year-old on a social media profile page, Flores engaged in numerous online communications through "Tagged.com" and "Kik" in an effort to meet with minors to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and to receive illicit images from the minors.

The court cited Flores's "ruinous acts" of sneaking a 13-year-old girl onto a military base and engaging in oral sex in support of Flores's lengthy sentence.

Flores's prosecution was the result of a cooperative investigation conducted by the U. S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Kingsland Police Department and St. Mary's Police Department.The Denver Police Department and Royal Canadian Mounted Police also provided assistance.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, which is a nationwide U. S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney's Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.