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UPDATE (May 24, 2021)– Clifford Pierce was sentenced to eight years. Four years will be spent in a Community Corrections program and the other four years are suspended to probation.

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — A 46-year-old Anderson man has been arrested for attempting to have sex with a girl he believed to be 15 years of age, according to Alexandria Police Department.

Alexandria police say a group called “Predator Catchers Muncie” contacted them regarding attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.

Police say the group provided them with messages showing that Clifford M. Pierce III was traveling to an Alexandria Dollar Store to meet with a girl he believed to be 15 for sexual intercourse. The police department says they were not involved in the meet up and were not notified until after Pierce III arrived at the store.

In the messages, a 20-year-old woman posed as a 15-year-old girl. After exchanging messages and several photographs, Pierce III agreed to meet her at the Dollar Store for sex, according to court documents.

When he arrived and entered the store, the predator catchers group confronted him and called police. Pierce III then left the store.

Police say officers found Pierce III a short time later several miles from the store. He was brought to the Alexandria Police Department to be interviewed.

During the interview, Pierce III admitted that he believed he was meeting with a 15-year-old and his intention was to have sex with her, according to APD. Police say he also admitted to sending the chat messages, including photos of his genitals.

Pierce III also admitted that he did not have insurance when he drove to the Dollar Store.

He was arrested on charges of felony attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and misdemeanor operating without financial responsibility.