Idaho Falls Man Could Face Life in Prison for Child Enticement
POCATELLO, Idaho (KLIX)-An Idaho Falls man could spend up to life in a federal prison at his sentencing this summer on child enticement charges. According to U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzales Jr., Joel Hawley Phelps, 63, recently pleaded guilty to enticement of a child and attempted coercion and will be sentenced in June. According to court documents, in September of 2021 Phelps admitted to texting with who he had thought was a 14-year-old girl but was actually an undercover officer. Later in October Phelps asked to meet with the supposed 14-year-old at a gas station for sex. Once he arrived he was arrested by police. He later admitted to authorities that he had messaged who he thought was a teenager for the purpose to have intercourse with her. The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), Idaho Falls Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.