Panama City, FL - A former Florida Air National Guard Colonel, convicted of trying to solicit a child for sexual activity, will spend the next 10 years in prison. A federal judge sentenced 45 year old Michael Shawn Garrett Thursday in the Panama City Federal Courthouse.
Garrett was arrested on May 15, 2017, when he showed-up at a designated place to meet what he thought was a 14 year old boy. Instead, he found undercover officers who took him into custody. Authorities arrested the Panama City Beach's as a result of an may 2017 operation undercover investigators conducted to identify individuals seeking to engage in sexual activity with minors. Garrett responded to a Craigslist advertisement in which an undercover officer posed as a 14-year-old boy. During ninety minutes of conversation with the undercover officer, Garrett discussed the sex acts he wished to perform with the boy. Through his e-mail communications, Garrett repeatedly requested the physical address of the boy, offering to pick up the boy to engage in the sexual encounter.
During his trial, Garrett said he never believed the person he was talking to was a minor, because craigslist only allows adults to post. But the jury didn't buy the story and convicted him on October 17, 2017, of attempted enticement of a minor for sex.
The Panama City Beach Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security, U. S. Department of Justice, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force all participated in the investigation.
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