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Arkansas man who sought sex from undercover officer posing as teen gets 11+ years in prison

by The Texarkana Gazette | November 16, 2018 at 11:05 a.m.

An Arkansas man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison on one count of attempted online enticement of a minor, the Texarkana Gazette reported on Friday.

Kevin DeHart, 53, of Mena will also serve five years of supervised release after he has completed his 135-month sentence, said Duane Kees, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Court records show that in July 2017, the Mena Police Department was conducting an undercover investigation into the online enticement of minors to engage in sexual activity in the Mena area.

An undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old began communicating via social media with a person later identified as DeHart, Kees said, noting DeHart "quickly began inquiring about the purported minor's sexuality."

"Later in the conversation, DeHart expressed a willingness to engage in sexual activity with the minor," Kees said. "Specific plans were made by DeHart and the purported minor to meet and engage in sexual activity at DeHart's residence. In response, law enforcement set up surveillance on the meet location. DeHart arrived at the predetermined location and was taken into custody."

A federal grand jury indicted DeHART in April, and he pleaded guilty in July.

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