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The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (June 15, 2000 9:39 p.m. EDT - A retired Army major who once worked for the White House pleaded guilty to attempted child molestation stemming from an Internet sting operation.

John W. Davis, 44, agreed to a plea bargain and will be sentenced to up to five years' probation, his lawyer said Thursday.

Davis, of Sandpoint, Idaho, was caught in an Internet sting when a police officer posing as a mother told Davis he could have sex with her 12- and 14-year-old daughters. He was arrested March 23 after arriving in San Diego for what he believed to be a meeting with the mother.

Davis entered the plea Wednesday in a San Diego court. Prosecutors agreed to drop other charges, including sending pornographic material. Had he been convicted of all 10 original counts, he could have faced up to seven years in jail. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 1.

Davis, once responsible for the White House Communications Agency, worked as the director of the Emergency Broadcast System, now the Emergency Alert System, which lets the government reach the public in emergencies.