SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — After a three-day trial, a Syracuse man was convicted by a jury on Wednesday, Oct. 4, of attempting to engage in unlawful sexual activities and to transfer obscene materials to a minor, allegedly from New York Mills.

68-year-old Bruce Wakker of Syracuse was convicted in the case, which was investigated by The FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, composed of FBI Special Agents and Investigators from the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the Colonie Police Department.

According to United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Alfred A. Watson, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Albany Field Office, Wakker had exchanged thousands of sexually explicit text messages with a person he believed to be a 9-year-old from November 2019 to June 2020.

The text messages Wakker sent were to what he believed was a 9-year-old girl and her mother. In the text messages presented to the jury, Wakker, among other things, wrote about performing different sexual acts with the 9-year-old and sent them pictures of his genitalia. 

Wakker then arranged to meet with the presumed mother and 9-year-old in person on June 11, 2020, when he traveled from Syracuse to New York Mills to engage in sexual intercourse with the 9-year-old. Wakker was arrested shortly after his arrival.

Wakker’s sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2024, before United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby in Syracuse, at which time he faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carling Dunham and Douglas Collyer prosecuted this case.