SAN ANGELO - A Copperas Cove man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for online solicitation of a minor following a sting operation that occurred in Tom Green County in December of 2016.

SAN ANGELO - A Copperas Cove man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for online solicitation of a minor following a sting operation that occurred in Tom Green County in December of 2016.

Geovanni Severin, 36, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the second degree felony by 51st District Judge Jay Weatherby on Friday, Jan. 4. He pleaded not guilty to the offense court records show.

According to reports, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted an undercover operation with the Tom Green County S.O. focusing on arresting online child sexual predators. During the operation, Severin responded to an ad posted on Craigslist and corresponded with an agent posing as a 13-year-old girl. He reportedly corresponded with the agent in a sexually explicit manner and scheduled a meeting with the agent with the intent on meeting the 13-year-old girl. He was arrested when he arrived at the location to meet the "girl."

Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Sheppard was the lead prosecutor in the case. Severin was represented by attorney Jessica Skinner.

Following trial, Sheppard said that the judge sent a strong message by assessing a 10 year sentence.

“The judge sent a strong message to the community that this behavior will not be tolerated in Tom Green County,” Sheppard said. “We want to commend the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division and the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative efforts. We also want to commend the assistance from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Goodfellow Air Force Base. The District Attorney’s Office is committed to working closely with all of our law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute individuals who knowingly participate in crimes against children.”