A Paducah man faces a federal charge after prosecutors allege he tried to solicit a minor for sex in southern Illinois.

A criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois claims Kenneth D. White of Paducah exchanged emails and texts with an undercover FBI agent posing as a father offering his 10-year-old daughter for sex from April 28 to June 9. The complaint says White sent explicit photos to the undercover agent. The agent also sent photos to White that the agent claimed were of a child; the complaint states that “the child was not real.” White also repeatedly discussed plans to meet the father and daughter in person, according to the court document.

The undercover agent arranged to meet with White on June 9. The complaint says when White arrived at the agreed upon location on Kennedy Drive in Metropolis, surveillance agents approached him and asked him to consent to an interview. According to the court document, White agreed.

The complaint says White “stated that he traveled from his residence in Paducah, Kentucky, to meet the man and his 10-year-old daughter,” and White told the agents “the thought of the 10-year-old daughter sexually excited him.”

“The subject acknowledged that he had emailed the man from his cellular telephone. The subject consented to the affiant seizing and searching his cellular telephone,” the complaint states.

White was arrested and charged with attempted enticement of a minor. Prosecutors have also filed a motion asking that White remain in custody until his trial, asserting that he is a danger to the community.

On Saturday, June 27, the Gold Rush Cafe in Paducah shared a statement on the allegations against White, who owns the restaurant.

In a statement released via the restaurant’s Facebook page, Gold Rush manager Pam Johnson says “we would like to express our sadness and shock over recent news about ownership allegations. We understand the public’s outrage about the criminal charges brought in Illinois.”

Gold Rush is currently being managed by employees, Johnson says in the statement, and White has removed himself from the business’s operations.

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