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Mena man sentenced in federal court

A Mena man has been sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison for attempted online enticement of a minor.

Fifty-three-year-old Kevin DeHart of Mena was sentenced Nov. 9 to 135 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of Attempted Online Enticement of a Minor.

According to court records, in July of 2017 the Mena Police department was conducting an undercover investigation into the online enticement of minors to engage in sexually activity in the Mena area.

During the operation law enforcement utilized an online persona of a 14-year-old male while logged in to an undercover social media account.

An individual later identified as DeHart contacted the 14-year-old persona and began to question it in an illegal manner. At the end of the conversation specific plans were set up between DeHart and the purported minor to meet at DeHart’s residence.

Law enforcement set up surveillance on the location and when DeHart arrived he was taken into custody. During an interview DeHart admitted he was the one communicating with what he thought was a minor online.

DeHart was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2018 and pled guilty in July 2018.

The case was investigated by the Mena Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States. U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Duane Kees was involved and the Honorable P.K. Holmes, III, Chief United States District Judge presided over the sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Fort Smith.

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