Edinburg man arrested on child sex offense charges

WINCHESTER — Investigators have arrested an Edinburg man  on child sex offense charges after a week-long undercover operation conducted by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Mark Gabriel Burnette, 44, is accused of sending sexually explicit messages on social media to an investigator pretending to be a 13-year-old girl, the criminal complaint states. On June 15, the investigator gave Burnette a residential address to meet the girl, and Burnette was arrested without incident when he arrived at the Frederick County residence.

According to court documents, Burnette plans to hire his own attorney to represent him. He has been formally charged with electronically communicating with a child younger than 15 to commit a sexual offense, and attempting to commit indecent liberties with a child.

Burnette is being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center. His next hearing date is scheduled for July 24 in Frederick County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. If convicted, Burnette faces up to 35 years imprisonment.