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A Billings man admitted Wednesday in federal court that he used the Internet to try to arrange sex with a minor.

Shawn Michael Nash, 33, pleaded guilty to coercion and agreed to forfeit a truck and computer equipment used in the crime. In Montana, no one younger than age 16 can legally consent to sex.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd said that in September of last year, FBI Special Agent Dan Vierthaler was working undercover in an Internet chat room posing as a girl younger than 16. He was contacted by Nash, who said he was 32 and talked about sexual matters.

During the next several weeks, the two had numerous conversations that led to Nash arranging to meet the "girl" in Billings for sex. Nash repeatedly noted he would go to jail if caught because of the girl's age, Hurd said.

Nash was arrested on Oct. 18 when he left his two young children home alone sleeping to meet the "girl" for sex, Hurd said.

Nash faces a minimum mandatory five years to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for Sept. 27 and ordered Nash into custody.

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