PEORIA — A Bloomington man was among the nine Central Illinois men arrested over the weekend in an FBI Springfield operation involving child sex charges.

The men are accused of attempting to entice a child to engage in sexual activity, each with separate criminal complaints.

The defendants charged with attempted enticement of a child are:

  • Thomas R. Alt, 26, of the 1100 block of North Deibe Road, Peoria;
  • Thomas Bauer, 35, of the 7000 block of North 1750 East Road, Bloomington;
  • Jacob N. Beeney, 35, of the 200 block of North Trivoli Road, Trivoli;
  • Travis Koch, 38, of the 1400 block of Park Street, Peoria;
  • Patrick Lanan, 39, Lake Camelot Drive, Mapleton;
  • Tyler D. Lee, 33, of the 100 block of Harrison Street, East Galesburg;
  • Keith Madson, 35, of the 100 block of Hemlock Terrace, Canton;
  • Hector Martinez, 56, of the 4100 block of North Chelsea, Peoria; 
  • and Bernard Waibel, 55, of the 1600 block of Northeast Glendale, Peoria.

According to the affidavits filed in support of the complaints, each of the men allegedly used various social media applications to contact and engage with FBI employees posing as minors to make arrangements to meet the minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, Sharon Paul, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield, wrote in a news release.

They were arrested in Peoria and taken into custody by FBI Springfield special agents, Illinois State Police, Peoria County Sheriff’s Office and the Peoria Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

They made their first appearance in federal court in Peoria on Monday. Additional hearings are scheduled for Wednesday.

If convicted, each of the men faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul B. Morris is representing the government in the case prosecutions.

These cases were filed as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.