Craig Alan Castaneda was sentenced to 35 years in prison and 10 years supervised release after allegedly traveling across the country to try to have sex with a 9-year-old girl.

Man who traveled to Atlanta to try to have sex with child sentenced to 35 years

A California man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for traveling to Atlanta to try to have sex with a 9-year-old. 

Craig Alan Castaneda, 40, allegedly traveled from San Diego in 2015 under the assumption he would be meeting a 9-year-old girl for sex. Instead, it was an undercover FBI agent who had posted a fake ad on Craigslist posing as a mother wanting a “teacher” for her daughter.

Castaneda and the undercover agent were in communication for a couple of weeks as the man allegedly described previous instances of molesting children and instructed the agent to have sex toys and lubricant ready when he arrived in Atlanta.

FBI agents met Castaneda at the airport and took him into custody.

“The severity of this sentence is the greatest message we can send to anyone who would even think about hurting a child in this way,” Chris Hacker of FBI Atlanta said in a news release. “The FBI won’t tolerate it, and we will continue to make predators like Castaneda a priority in our mission to uphold the Constitution and protect our citizens.”

In addition to 35 years in prison, Castaneda will be on supervised release for 10 years and have to register as a sex offender.

He was convicted of one count of traveling from another state to engage in sexual activity with a child under the age of 12 years and one count of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

“This sentence is a reminder of what child predators can expect if they seek to harm a child here,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “There is no tolerance for their depraved conduct. Our mission is to protect citizens, especially the most vulnerable members of our community.”

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.