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ALBURGH — An Alburgh man guilty of trying to have sex with a minor was sentenced to 15 years in prison after his conviction on Tuesday in Burlington.

Randy Sheltra, 59, of Alburgh was convicted of two counts of attempting to persuade, induce and entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity and one count of attempted receipt of child pornography.

Sheltra has also been ordered to serve a 30-year term of supervision following his release and to pay a special assessment of $300.

Officers arrested Sheltra in 2017 after he began to communicate with an undercover officer on Craigslist who he believed was the mother of a 10-year-old girl. Sheltra tried to persuade the woman to allow him to engage in sexual activity with her daughter.

Officers arrested him three days later when he arrived at a South Burlington park to meet the woman.

After seizing his phone, officers found evidence that Sheltra had already persuaded another 15-year-old Vermont girl to meet with him for sexual activity. Sheltra had also asked the child for explicit photographs.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss found Sheltra qualified as a “repeat and dangerous” sex offender during his six-day trial. Sheltra also provided false testimony.

Sheltra’s case was brought forward as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative combatting child sexual exploitation and abuse. Launched in May 2006, the program uses federal, state and local resources to find criminals who exploit children using the Internet.

Homeland Security Investigations and the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force also assisted to bring it to trial. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barbara A. Masterson and Andrew C. Gilman prosecuted the case. Sheltra was represented by attorney Mark Kaplan.

 

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