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 Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.