Fulton sex offender pleads guilty to federal crime involving Alabama girl
JEFFERSON CITY - A Fulton sex offender pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday.
Michael J. Collins, 21, admitted he paid his grandmother $400 to go to Alabama to pick up a 13-year-old girl, according to the prosecutor.
Investigators said he met her on a dating website in June 2017. The prosecutor said Collins communicated with her from July to December 2017, using a cell phone and various social media apps.
At the time, Collins was on state probation for a prior conviction of misconduct involving a child, and the communication was a violation of that probation.
The Callaway County Sheriff's Office received information on Dec. 1 that the girl was missing. A cell phone ping placed her in Fulton, according to the plea agreement. Authorities then located her and removed her from the residence.
The prosecutor said Collins was living at the Community Supervision Center when his grandmother and mother transported the victim there from a Fulton residence. They also transported the victim when they drove Collins back and forth to work, investigators said.
Collins now faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a federal prison without parole. A sentencing will be scheduled following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States probation office.