DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for traveling to Walton County to meet with a minor for sex.

A jury convicted Trenton Patrick Hooks on Dec. 13, 2018, of traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual conduct with consent by a parent, using a computer to facilitate or solicit a parent to consent to the sexual conduct of a child, and unlawful use of two-way communication device to facilitate a commission of a felony, according to a press release from the State Attorney's Office.

Hooks was identified by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office during an undercover operation known as “Paladin Shield,” which targeted people who use the internet to connect with minors.

Hooks responded to an online posting and ultimately requested to have sex with a minor. Hooks agreed to travel to Walton County to meet with the mother and the child. When Hooks arrived at the meeting place, he was arrested by sheriff's deputies.

Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells sentenced Hooks, who also was designated as a sexual offender.