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 Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.