NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 45-year-old registered sex offender from West Virginia has been sentenced to more than two decades in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee.

In July 2022, officials said Shaun J. Sanders of Morgantown, West Virginia, communicated with an online covert employee of the FBI, who was posing as a 13-year-old girl, on an online dating platform. Sanders allegedly engaged in sexually explicit chats with the employee, sent an explicit photo of himself, and requested nude photos and videos of the person he believed to be a minor.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said a federal grand jury in Nashville indicted Sanders in November 2022 on one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to an individual under the age of 16, and the penalty for registered sex offenders.

News 2 previously reported that Sanders was arrested in West Virginia in December 2022 and was transported to the Middle District of Tennessee by mid-January.

About four months later, Sanders pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the DOJ.

Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, the West Virginia man was sentenced to 22.5 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, officials said.

The DOJ said the FBI investigated the case, which surfaced as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.