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A Meridian man will spend the next two years in federal prison for attempting to meet up with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Vincent Ingolia, 45, in April pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho. On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced him to two years in prison and another five years of supervision after his release.

In March 2018, Ingolia posted an ad on Craigslist seeking sex with underage girls, according to the release. An agent from the federal Homeland Security Investigations — which is an arm of the Department of Homeland Security — saw the post. The agent replied to the post, posing as a 13-year-old girl. The two began to communicate via email, and Ingolia offered to pay for sex. Eventually, they agreed to meet at a gas station in Boise, but Ingolia, suspecting he was talking to law enforcement, fled the scene.

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Federal agents kept investigating him, however. They found he’d posted at least 10 other advertisements on Craigslist, attempting to meet up with juveniles for paid sex or “porn productions.”

By August 2018, agents had enough evidence for a search warrant, which they served with Ingolia present. During that search, Ingolia told them he was the one who had communicated with the agent via email. He said he’d had correspondence with minors through Craigslist and had discussed paying them for sex but denied ever having sexual contact with any of them.

As a result of the conviction, Ingolia will be required to register as a sex offender, according to the release.

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