TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The former mayor of Athens pleaded guilty to federal child obscenity violations in court on Thursday.

James Monte Montgomery, 64, pleaded guilty to sending obscene materials to a minor on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

According to documents, on June 3, 2021, Montgomery was arrested after going to an undisclosed location after soliciting sex online with investigators posing as minors.

In June 2020, Montgomery, who was then the mayor of Athens, began communicating through text messages with a person that officials said he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. According to a release, he sent messages to the minor describing sexually explicit acts he wanted to perform on the child and offering to pay the child if she would meet and have sex with him.

Officials said he faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click here.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tyler Field Office, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Austin Wells.