Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to Herald-Dispatch.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.


Learn more about HD Media

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 Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.