A 59-year-old St. Louis man who formerly headed a state Ku Klux Klan chapter was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for trying to arrange a sexual encounter with two undercover Henry County police officers masquerading as 14-year-old girls.
Neal Ray Schmidt, a retired delivery man and former grand dragon of the Missouri chapter of the Klan, met the officers in an online chat forum frequented by children, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The officers told Schmidt they were friends who lived near one another in McDonough.
After a series of exchanges, Schmidt steered the conversation toward sexual topics, according to the U.S. Attorney. He then began "grooming" the girls for a sexual encounter, sending them explicit videos of himself along with child pornography.
Last June, Schmidt made arrangements to drive to a McDonough motel for a meeting with the girls. He was arrested in the parking lot carrying guns, Klan paraphernalia and sex toys, the U.S. attorney said.
Since his arrest in this case, Schmidt has been charged with molesting his granddaughter and with arranging a similar sexual encounter with an underage girl in Florida, according to prosecutors.