A 56-year-old Rock Island man is charged with attempting to meet a 13-year-old boy for sex.  

Robert W. Blackard Jr. is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Rock Island. He’s charged with attempted enticement of a minor.

Rock Island police officer Tina Noe went online posing as a 13-year-old boy named “Greg” and started communicating with Blackard June 27, according to records unsealed Monday.

Police became aware of Blackard through an anonymous tip that he had gone on Facebook saying that he was in the process of adopting a 14-year-old boy named “Randy” and that the boy’s father had allowed Blackard to share a bed with him, records state.

“Greg” sent a friend request to Blackard’s Facebook account, and Blackard quickly accepted and began chatting with “Greg” via private messaging, records state.

The chats became sexual in nature, and on Jan. 31, Blackard told “Greg” that he would pick him up after school the next day at a McDonald’s in Rock Island, records state. Blackard was arrested in the McDonald’s parking lot at 1:50 p.m. Feb. 1.

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