FLOYD COUNTY, Va. – A Maryland man pleaded guilty to sending a 12-year-old Floyd County girl explicit sexual images while he served as a U.S. Marine, according to Floyd County Commonwealth's Attorney Eric Branscom.
On Tuesday, Ivan Ramirez, 20, of Hurlock, Maryland, pleaded guilty in Floyd Couty Circuit Court to two counts of using a communication system for solicitation of a child.
In September 2018, a mother contacted the Floyd County Sheriff's Office after she discovered that her 12-year-old daughter was messaging a 20-year-old man on social media and messages contained strong sexual content, according to Branscom.
Investigator Rusty Stanley obtained a search warrant for the man's social media account and learned that it belonged to Ramirez.
The search revealed that Ramirez sent multiple pictures of male genitalia to the girl and tried to arrange a meeting with her as he traveled through Virginia, according to Branscom.
Authorities in Maryland determined that Ramirez was actively serving in the U.S. Marines in North Carolina at the time he sent the pictures.
They then contacted Naval Criminal Investigations Service, which determined Ramirez was a lance corporal based at a Marine Air Station in New River, North Carolina.
Ramirez confessed to an NCIS agent in late October, saying that he knew the girl was underage.
After receiving the confession from NCIS, Stanley obtained two warrants against Ramirez in Floyd County.
Ramirez was then taken into custody and transferred to the New River Valley Regional Jail, where he's currently being held.
He will be sentenced in November.