Men who federal prosecutors say wanted to have sex with children sentenced to prison

Crime & Public Safety

PLANO, Texas (KETK) – A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced two men to prison for crimes against children, federal prosecutors based in Plano announced. One of the men was an administrator of an online group in which members shared desires to have sex with children.

“Crimes against children are some of the most reprehensible acts that law enforcement is determined to prevent and punish once they occur. We are thankful for the collaboration of our partners in the Dallas Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. It is because of this partnership that these two individuals are now facing lengthy sentences for their crimes.”

FBI Dallas Special Agent Matthew DeSarno

Christopher A. Sheffer, 58, of Media, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan.

The judge ordered Sheffer to pay a $40,000 fine and a $5,000 assessment pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.

According to information in court, Sheffer was the administrator of an online group that expressed interest in incest and sexually abusing children. Sheffer communicated with who he thought was a child and was arrested when he flew from Pennsylvania to Texas for what he had hoped would be a sexual encounter with the child, according to court records.

Judge Jordan also sentenced Thomas Earl Cardwell, Jr., 43, of Kemp, Texas, to about 17 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography in 2020.

In 2019, Cardwell was arrested for and convicted of online solicitation of a minor in Tarrant County. According to court records, after he was released from state prison he began communicating on social media about his desire to engage in sex with children and distributed videos of child pornography.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Dallas Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force and members of the Plano Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.

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