A Utah National Guard employee pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of soliciting sex on the Internet from someone he thought was an underage girl.

The grand jury indictment charges Sgt. 1st Class Craig James Dowen, 47, with coercion and enticement for illegal sexual activity. During his appearance in federal court on Monday, he entered the plea, and a three-day trial was set for Oct. 20.

Dowen was arrested earlier this month after agents with the Utah Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force said he solicited sex from three undercover officers. After being arrested, a search warrant was served on his Tooele home where authorities said they discovered a marijuana-growing operation in the basement.

The Utah National Guard said Dowen worked as their chief marketing specialist.