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HUNTINGTON — An Ohio man admitted in federal court Thursday to traveling to Huntington after setting up the opportunity to rape two underage girls in what was actually a police sting operation.

Mikel Bradley Smith, 19, of Chesapeake, Ohio, pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity with a minor. He faces up to 30 years in prison at his Nov. 2 sentencing.

According to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart, Smith admitted he responded to a Craigslist ad Feb. 27, 2020, and engaged in a conversation with a person he believed was the mother of two children, ages 11 and 13. Smith arranged to travel to Huntington to meet the woman in order to engage in sexual activity, including oral and sexual intercourse, with the minor girls.

On Feb. 28 he traveled to Huntington with condoms and small gifts for the two minors and met with the woman, at which time he was placed under arrest.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation. U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is handling the prosecution.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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