The FBI said that 30-year-old Mark Antonio Pazmino and 28-year-old Mark Richard Hardin have been sentenced to 10 years in prison after attempting to meet up with a minor for a sexual encounter.
Both men were subject to a federal sting operation conducted by the FBI and military investigative services.
Pazmino, a member of the U.S. Army, was arrested in July of 2016 after responding to a presonal for what he believed was a 14-year-old girl.
He was unknowingly speaking to an undercover officer with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He taken into custody after showing up to a pre-arranged meeting.
In May of 2017, Pazmino pleaded guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and sentenced to just over 10 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release following his prison sentence.
Hardin, a U.S Navy member, was subject to a similar situation.
In February of 2016, Hardin was arrested by AFOSI agents after attempting to meet up and have sex with a 14-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty in January of this year to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release.
Both cases were part of a nationwide campaign known as Project Safe Childhood. The initiative is a growing effort to combat the abuse and sexual exploitation of minors.
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