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Winterville man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for tryingto entice 14-year-old girl for sex

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Noe A. Villafuerte

By Joe Johnson

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a Winterville man to 10 years in prison for trying to entice a 14-year-old girl he “met” online into having sex.

The “girl” was actually an Athens-Clarke County detective who was hunting for child predators last summer as part of a multi-agency operation called “Operation End Game,” according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

Noe A. Villafuerte, 47, was convicted of attempted online enticement of a minor following a trial in March in U.S. District Court in Macon.

He received the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years of confinement, plus 10 years of supervised release, and will be required to be a registered sex offender for life.

There is no parole in the federal penal system.

"Child predators will go to great lengths to victimize a child, as seen in this case and in nearly all of the online exploitation cases we encounter. I hope this case serves as a reminder to parents and responsible adults to be aware of your young person's online activity and who they are communicating with," Leary said in the release. "Law enforcement at every level is collaborating through Georgia's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program to protect children from online exploitation."

According to court documents and testimony presented at trial, Leary said, Villafuerte was arrested as a result of "Operation End Game," a three-day proactive effort from July 25-27, 2019, centered in Athens, Georgia, to arrest adults communicating with children on-line and traveling to meet them for the purpose of having sex.

“During the online operation, an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl placed an ad on an ‘escort’ website known to be used by human traffickers” Leary said.” Villafuerte responded to the ad and began communicating with the undercover agent on July 25. Villafuerte offered to pay the child $60 for sex in his vehicle and they agreed to meet at a Kroger in Athens on July 26. Villafuerte was arrested shortly before 5:00 p.m. in the parking lot after searching the store and lot for the child.”

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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