BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – A Rainelle man pled guilty today to a sex offense involving a minor, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Michael Darnell Ramsey, 47, pled guilty to attempted sex trafficking of a minor.
“These are heinous crimes,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to hold offenders accountable and bring justice to victims. If you are preying on West Virginia’s most vulnerable – we’re coming for you.”
Ramsey admitted that he was communicating via Snapchat with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old minor that he had previously met in person. During these conversations, Ramsey offered to pay the 14-year-old $200 to engage in two sexual acts. On April 3, 2020, Ramsey traveled to a meeting location in Greenbrier County to meet the minor to engage in the commercial sex acts, at which time he was placed under arrest.
Ramsey faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison when sentenced on October 23, 2020. He also will be required to register as a sex offender following his release from prison.
The West Virginia State Police, the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is handling the prosecution.
The case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.