MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Tennessee man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for driving to Minnesota last summer for what he thought would be a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl.

Federal officials say 51-year-old Jeffrey Scott Evans pleaded guilty in August to one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. District Judge Susan R. Nelson sentenced him last Friday to 96 months in federal prison.

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In his guilty plea, Evans admitted that in June he used the screen name “taboolooking” in a chatroom to start a conversation with someone he thought was a teenage girl. Really, it was an undercover federal agent.

The conversation quickly turned sexual, and Evans wrote about traveling from Tennessee to Bloomington. In dozens of emails and text message, he described the sex acts he wanted to do with the teenager and sent explicit photos of himself.

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Officials say that in one message Evans wrote of recording the sex acts with a digital camera.

Ten days after starting the conversation, Evans was arrested at a Bloomington hotel. Officials say sex toys, drugs and a digital camera were found in Evan’s room. A loaded gun was found in his car.

In a press release announcing the sentencing, federal officials described the exploitation of children by online predators as an epidemic. They also cautioned parents to be vigilant to the threat of Internet predators.

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As part of his sentencing, Evans will be subject to 15 years supervised release.