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Jacksonville man accused of trying to meet child for sex pleads guilty

Pixabay (Pixabay)

A Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to using the internet to attempt to entice a child to engage in sexual activity, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said Friday.

Wayne Dale Epps Jr., 36, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

On Feb. 14, 2020, according to court documents, an undercover FBI agent, who was posing online as the family member of a 12-year-old child, was contacted by the user “ksaber2040,” who was later identified as Epps. Federal prosecutors said the same undercover agent previously chatted online with Epps in October 2019.

Over the next several days, according to federal prosecutors, Epps and the undercover agent talked online, and Epps expressed his desire to meet the “child” to engage in sexual activity.

On Feb. 18, 2020, according to prosecutors, Epps drove to a shopping center in Jacksonville to meet the “child” for sex and was arrested by FBI agents.

He remains in custody.