Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento, Folsom men plead guilty in child enticement case

Two Sacramento-area men pleaded guilty today to attempted enticement of a minor.

Nicholas Perry, 36, of Sacramento, and Eric Johnston, 23, of Folsom, entered the pleas in federal court in Sacramento, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, on May 29, 2012, an undercover detective with the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force responded to a Craigslist advertisement posted by Brandon Marks in which Marks sought to acquire children’s underwear. After a week of online and cell phone communications, Marks agreed to meet the undercover detective to have sex with the detective’s fictional 13-year-old child.

Following his arrest, Marks allowed law enforcement officers to assume his online identity. Perry was one of the people with whom Marks was communicating. Before meeting with law enforcement officers, Marks had told Perry via email that he was “meeting a dad and his daughter and taking pics.”

After assuming Marks’ identity, law enforcement officers posing as Marks offered to introduce Perry to the daughter. Perry communicated with Johnston about the meeting and offered to introduce Johnston to the fictional father, authorities said.

After being introduced, each defendant communicated directly via email with law enforcement officers about the fictional 13-year-old, authorities said. Perry and Johnston agreed to meet Marks, the father and his daughter to have sex with the daughter.

Johnston was arrested after arriving at the meeting location, and after his arrest, he received a text message from Perry asking if he was there. Law enforcement officers, posing as Johnston, responded, telling Perry that he had arrived and was waiting with the father and daughter. Perry arrived about 45 minutes later and was arrested.

Perry and Johnston have been in federal custody since their arrest. They are to be sentenced April 3.

Marks pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor and was sentenced in May 2013 to 12 years in prison.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state and local agencies. It investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement and sex trafficking.