KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas truck driver who paid to have sex with an 11-year-old girl was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted commercial sex trafficking of a child. The "girl" was actually an undercover officer. This sentence resulted from a joint investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.
Richard J. Oflyng, 32, of Ottawa, Kan., was sentenced Dec. 1 by U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright, Western District of Missouri, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Oflyng pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
The Human Trafficking Rescue Project conducted a sting operation during the first weekend in March which targeted local customers who solicit pimps to engage in commercial sex acts with children. The "children" were advertised online at Craig's List; no real children were actually involved in the sting.
Oflyng responded via e-mail to an ad that advertised "little girls available." The ad clearly advertised the children for sex. Oflyng was then contacted by telephone by an undercover officer, who offered an 11-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl. Oflyng made an appointment to have sex with the 11-year-old girl and agreed to pay $20 extra to have sex without using a condom.
Oflyng, a truck driver, arrived at the undercover location in his tractor-trailer the next morning. Upon entering the residence he confirmed that he wanted an 11-year-old girl and would pay $60, plus $20 extra for not using a condom. Oflyng handed the undercover officer the cash and was directed to a room with a dirty mattress on the floor. He was arrested upon entering the room.
This sentence is the result of Operation Guardian Angel, a unique undercover law enforcement investigation targeting the demand for child prostitutes in the Kansas City metro area. As a result of this investigation, seven defendants have been indicted. This operation marks the first time that the U.S. Department of Justice has used the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to prosecute customers who allegedly attempt to pay for sex with children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes, Western District of Missouri, prosecuted this case. It was investigated by the Human Trafficking Rescue Project, a joint task force comprised of the following agencies: ICE; the Independence, Mo., Police Department; the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department; and the FBI.
"This sentence serves as a warning to those who seek to sexually exploit innocent children," said Gilbert Trill, assistant special agent in charge of the ICE's Office of Investigations in Kansas City. "Some child predators mistakenly believe the anonymity of cyberspace shields them from scrutiny. In fact, their use of the Internet gives us new tools in our efforts to investigate this insidious behavior."
This case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals under Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.