Federal jury convicts Zavalla man of attempting to entice minor to have sex

LAFAYETTE, LA (Release) – A federal jury found Elton Ray Jones, 67, of Zavalla, Texas, guilty Tuesday of attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. United States District Judge Elizabeth Foote presided over the trial.

Following the two-day trial, the jury found Jones guilty after deliberating for one hour. Based on witness testimony and documents admitted into evidence, it was shown that from September 11, 2012 to October 17, 2012, Jones made contact and conducted online chats with a law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Jones engaged in explicit conversations with the girl and planned a sexual encounter.

Law enforcement officers arrested Jones on October 17, 2012 in Lafayette, where Jones had planned to meet the girl.

Jones faces 10 years to life in prison, five years to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for one count of attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. He must also register as a sex offender.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice-launched nationwide initiative 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 (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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.