A Rock Island man is scheduled to appear in federal court today on a charge of attempted enticement of a minor.
Robert W Blackard Jr., age unavailable, was indicted Friday in federal court. Police say he tried to convince an undercover agent, whom he thought was a 13-year-old boy, to have sleepovers with himself and a 14-year-old boy from Texas he allegedly planned to adopt.
In June, Mr. Blackard began corresponding with the undercover agent, who went by the name "Greg" and claimed to be in eighth grade, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Rock Island branch of the U.S. District Court for Central Illinois.
In Facebook conversations, Mr. Blackard indicated he was adopting a seventh-grader named "Randy" whose father, he said, allowed Mr. Blackard to share a bed with the teen, records state.
Police began investigating Mr. Blackard after the Rock island Police Department received an anonymous tip in June from someone concerned that the Rock Island man was sexually abusing "Randy," records indicate.
The criminal complaint states that, during his Facebook conversations, Mr. Blackard "consistently indicated that Randy was coming to Rock Island and that Greg should hang out with Randy and Blackard, such as by swimming together, playing video games together, eating pizza together, or sleeping over together at Blackard's apartment."
Mr. Blackard allegedly claimed he and "Randy" often wore only underwear at home and invited "Greg" to do the same, records said. The conversations became increasing sexual and, on Friday, Mr. Blackard agreed to pick up "Greg" at an area McDonald's.
Upon his arrival to the restaurant's parking lot, Mr. Blackard was arrested by police.
Today is Friday, March 7, the 66th day of 2014. There are 299 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat came up to her dock yesterday and was punching away at the ice, which is crowded up against the Iowa shore. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.C. Bromley, of Rock Island, has received a patent on a steam activated valve. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Major. C.W. Hawes, head clerk of the Modern Woodmen of America, was honored by department chiefs on his 73rd birthday 1939 -- 75 years ago: Mayor Robert Galbraith declared that 75 percent of the people here have talked to "favor construction of Rock Island's new city hall in Spencer Square." 1964 -- 50 years ago: C.H. Langman & Sons, Rock Island, has been awarded the general contract for partial rehabilitation and modernization of the main building at the East Moline State Hospital. The Langman firm bid $424,839. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The cost of living in the Quad-Cities is 6.8 percent less than the average of 260 metropolitan areas.