INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis truck driver who sought out a child for sex has learned his sentence.

Gerald Hoye, 43, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

The investigation started with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which contacted the U.S. Secret Service after learning an adult was exchanging explicit images with a child on Facebook. Further investigation showed the two parties engaged in sexually explicit conversations on Facebook Messenger.

The adult was Hoye, investigators said, then a 41-year-old truck driver living in Indianapolis. The child lived in another state. Federal prosecutors said Hoye “coerced and manipulated” the child, who was under the age of 16, by offering her money in exchange for sexually explicit photos and videos.

In September 2019, Hoye traveled to the girl’s home and took her to another state, where he “engaged in illegal sexual conduct” with her.

While the Secret Service took the lead in the investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided additional investigative resources. A federal judge imposed the sentence for Hoye as part of a plea deal.

Upon completion of his sentence, Hoye will be on supervised release for 10 years. He was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the child victim and will have to register as a sex offender.