An Alabama man traveled to Georgia to have sex with two boys. But instead of the boys, 12 and 5, he met an undercover agent and was arrested after a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed.
On Monday Joseph Franklin Ellis, 33, of Attalla, Ala., was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting to have sex with minors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Ellis made a decision to prey on innocent and vulnerable children when he traveled to have sex with them,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “Because he was making the arrangements through an undercover officer, Ellis was stopped and his quest to molest children was ended. These types of crimes are unimaginable and those who believe they can evade the law while carrying on this type of crime will learn as he did, you will be caught and you will go to jail.”
The investigation unfolded in February 2011 when an undercover FBI task force officer placed a notice on a website designed for people to meet others for sexual purposes, saying that he had access to two minor boys, according to a court report.
Ellis began communicating with the undercover officer, believing that the officer had a 12-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy who he would make available for sex, federal officials said. Ellis wrote that he wanted to meet the undercover officer for the express purpose of having sex with the boys.
The two eventually made arrangements to meet on May 30, 2011, at a Hampton Inn in Ringgold where Ellis would have sex with the two children, officials said. When Ellis showed up at the arranged location, FBI agents attempted to arrest him, they said. But Ellis fled, leading police on a high-speed chase that only ended when he crashed his car.
Ellis, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 25, will be placed on 20 years of supervised release following his prison sentence, officials said.