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Child Exploitation

70-year-old Seattle man sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison for attempting to coerce and entice 2 minors to engage in sex acts

DENVER — A 70-year-old man from Seattle, Wash., was sentenced this week to serve 15 years and eight months in federal prison for attempting to coerce and entice minor children to engage in sexual conduct. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the Parker, Colo. Police Department and Internet Crimes against Children detectives.

Gary Waffle was also ordered serve 20 years on supervised release following the completion of his sentence.

Waffle was first charged on July 29, 2010. The following month he was indicted by a federal grand jury; and on July 29, 2011, he pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, on Jan. 28, 2010 an Internet Crimes against Children detective from the Parker, Colo. Police Department was contacted in an online chat room by Waffle. The detective was posing as a young mother of a 6-year old girl. Waffle engaged the undercover detective in numerous chats regarding the defendant's desire to have sex with the 6-year old girl and another 14-year old girl associated with her family. Waffle and the undercover detective agreed to meet so that he could have sex with the minors. Waffle flew from Seattle, Wash., to Denver, with the intent to engage in sexual acts with the minors. Once in Denver, he drove to a fast food restaurant to meet the undercover detective and the two minor children. Once Waffle entered the restaurant he was greeted by the undercover officer posing as her undercover persona. Waffle was arrested after he discussed having sexual relations with two minor children.

"Significant prison sentences like the one awarded to Gary Waffle are the best way to ensure that our children are protected from sexual predators who have honed their talents for luring children and keeping them silent," said David M. Marwell, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Denver. "These sentences may also act as a deterrent for other would-be-predators as well."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.