Arnold Gonzales pleaded guilty to charges of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor Tuesday morning in a federal courtroom in Albuquerque, NM.
Gonzales -- a former military recruiter who was stationed at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Midland -- was arrested in Clovis, NM on May 2nd.
Gonzales, 26, had been the subject of a Curry County Sheriff's Office sexting sting operation for the week leading up to his arrest.
In late April, Curry County (NM) Sheriff's deputies had put out an online advertisement entitled, "Cute/Young if age doesn't matter hit me up."
Gonzales responded to the advertisement with an e-mail that included two photos of himself.
The response then initiated a stream of e-mail and texts between Gonzales and the deputy -- who represented himself as as a 12-year-old girl whose family would be relocating to Germany within 2 weeks.
Gonzales asked the "girl" to send naked photos of herself in sexually explicit positions. He also talked about the sexual acts he wanted to engage in with the "girl" in the messages.
On May 1st, Gonzales texted the "girl" saying that he'd be traveling from Oklahoma City, OK to Clovis, NM the following day to have sex with her.
Gonzales showed up where the "girl" told him to meet and was arrested by Curry County Sheriff's deputies.
Now, Gonzales faces a minimum of 87 months in prison.
The maximum sentence for the charge is 9 years in federal prison.
Gonzales will be on supervised release when his sentence is up, and he'll also have to register as a sex offender.
No sentencing date has been announced.