A Rock Island man pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of attempted enticement of a minor.
Robert W. Blackard Jr., age unavailable, was accused of trying to convince an undercover agent, whom he thought was a 13-year-old boy, to have sleepovers with him and a 14-year-old boy from Texas he allegedly planned to adopt.
Mr. Blackard began corresponding last year via Facebook with the undercover agent, who went by the name "Greg" and claimed to be in eighth grade, according to court records from the Rock Island branch of the U.S. District Court for Central Illinois. The conversations became increasingly sexual and, earlier this year, Mr. Blackard agreed to pick up "Greg" at a Quad-Cities McDonald's.
When he arrived, Mr. Blackard was arrested by police.
Scheduled for trial in April, Mr. Blackard on Monday entered a blind plea of guilty to the charge, court records state. The trial was canceled, and he now is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10.
Today is Monday, March 10, the 69th day of 2014. There are 296 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Numerous counterfeiters are around, taking advantage of the influx of currency to pass their worthless trash. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.J. Reimers, secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co., on behalf of that firm, contributed $500 toward construction of a new Methodist church. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Samuel Ryerson, county recorder, was re-elected president of the 19th District of Knights of Pythias. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Three condemnation suits have been filed by the city of Rock Island to acquire property needed for an approach to the Rock Island-Davenport bridge, which has been under construction since March 6. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Plans for an eight-story Sheraton Inn in downtown Rock Island were announced today at a luncheon meeting at the Gay Nineties sponsored by the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce. Cost of the structure is estimated at $2.5 million. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Representatives of the Hardee's Golf Classic and tournament sponsor Hardee's Food Systems may meet next week with PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to discuss a possible change in the tournament dates.