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Former DoD employee pleads guilty in child enticement case

He thought he was talking to a girl. In reality, it was an undercover detective.

Malek (Photo: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)
Malek (Photo: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Department of Defense employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he tried to entice a child into meeting for sex, authorities said.

Mohammad Abdul Malek, 67, of St. Marys, Georgia, pleaded guilty to a count of attempted enticement and coercion of a minor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Florida’s Middle District.

Malek faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

According to his plea agreement, Malek exchanged emails and texts with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl in August. He asked for photos and said he wanted to teach her about “making love.”

In reality, the person he was communicating with was an undercover detective. When Malek traveled to Jacksonville to meet up with the “child” Aug. 26, he was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide campaign by the Justice Department aimed at curbing the spread of child sexual exploitation and abuse.