URBANA – A Danville man was among the 15 central Illinois men arrested during the weekend related to an FBI Operation conducted in Kankakee County, according to Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney John C. Milhiser and FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean M. Cox, Springfield Division.

Cole Montgomery, 25, of the 17300 block of 2400 North Road, Danville, faces charges of attempted enticement of a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of a child, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The men have been charged in separate criminal complaints with attempted enticement of a child to engage in illegal sexual activity; some have also been charged with attempted sexual exploitation of children. The complaints were unsealed on Feb. 18, as each made their respective initial appearances in federal court in Urbana. Each was ordered detained pending hearings scheduled later this week.

The operation was conducted with the coordination and assistance of the Bradley Police Department, the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

According to the affidavits filed in support of the complaints, each of the men allegedly used various social media applications to contact and engage online with FBI covert employees posing as 14 and 15-year-old minors to make arrangements to meet the minor girl or boy with the intent to engage in sexual activity. Some of the men attempted to entice or coerce the minors to send them sexually explicit images.

As the men arrived at or near the designated address in Bradley, they were arrested and taken into custody by FBI Special Agents; the Bradley Police Department; the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is representing the government in the case prosecutions.

The defendants charged in this operation with attempted enticement of a minor are: Joshua T. Koenig, 27, of Buckley; Jody L. Lagesse, 45, Kankakee; Shane R. Ferris, 23, of Bourbonnais; Nick Vincent Sr., 25, of Kankakee; Dale Martin Alvin Scering, 26, Bradley; Robert Shawn Anderson, 50, Paxton; Bryan Rossi, 29, Park Forest; and Timothy Lyle Dean, 37, Bourbonnais.

The defendants in addition to Montgomery charged in this operation with attempted enticement of a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of a child were Matthew T. Gribbon, 48, of Kankakee; Ryan I. Woodruff, 21, of Kankakee; Anmol Chugh, 28, of Saint Anne; Kyren Williams, 30, of Kankakee; Joseph Adam Longanecker, 40, of Manteno; and Jazzie Simmons, 28, of Kankakee.

If convicted, for the offense of attempted enticement of a minor, each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison. For the offense of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, each defendant faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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