Former National Guardsman from Texas Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Exploitation Charge
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2012|
ALBUQUERQUE—This morning in Albuquerque federal court, Jeffrey Neal Jackson entered a guilty plea to count one of a two-count indictment charging him with coercion and enticement of a minor, under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Jackson will be sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender. Count two of the indictment, charging Jackson with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, will be dismissed after Jackson is sentenced.
Jackson, 44, was a military recruiter employed by the National Guard and stationed in Lubbock, Texas when he was arrested on child sexual exploitation charges on November 28, 2011. Jackson has been in federal custody since that time and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
According to the indictment, between October 3, 2011 and October 24, 2011, Jackson used a computer and cell phone to entice an individual whom he believed to be under 18 years of age to engage in sexual activity. Jackson then traveled from Texas to Curry County, New Mexico for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a person whom he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.
In his plea agreement, Jackson admitted responding to an ad on craigslist.com that read, “young/cute if age doesn’t matter hit me up” on October 3, 2011, and began a three-week online relationship with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl but who was, in fact, an undercover officer with the Curry County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson further admitted discussing sexual matters, including the sexual relations he wanted to have with the child, during his online communication with the undercover officer. Jackson also requested photos of the child, including nude photos, and sent photos of himself, including one in his military uniform and one of his exposed genitalia, to the undercover agent.
Jackson admitted that he agreed to meet with the child at a house in Curry County, New Mexico on October 25, 2011 and that he traveled from Texas to New Mexico to do so. Jackson was arrested when he arrived at the house and learned that the person with whom he was communicating was an undercover agent. According to the plea agreement, at the time of his arrest, Jackson had condoms in his hand, which he recently had purchased because he had anticipated having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that the case against Jackson was the result of an investigation by the Curry County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the United States Army, the FBI, and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees and was brought as 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 Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies associated with the task force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.