LAS VEGAS – A local man has been sentenced to 37 years in federal prison for soliciting sex over the Internet from a person he thought was a minor following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Darryl Owen Walizer, 43, of Las Vegas, was sentenced June 10 by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro to 444 months in prison and lifetime supervised release. Walizer was convicted of coercion and enticement of a minor and commission of a felony sex offense by an individual required to register as a sex offender. Judge Pro sentenced Walizer to 324 months on the first count and 120 months, consecutive, on the second count. Federal law states that a person convicted of the repeat sex offender count must serve 10 years in prison consecutive to the other sentence. This was the first time a defendant in Nevada had been charged and convicted under this relatively new law passed in 2006. Walizer has two prior convictions for solicitation of a juvenile in Virginia and importuning in Ohio.
"As this case demonstrates, repeat sex offenders face much stricter penalties under new federal laws," said Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. "The Department of Justice works with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate, track down, and prosecute these dangerous individuals."
In March 2010, ICE HSI agents in Las Vegas received information from police in Garland, Tex., that one of their detectives who was acting in an undercover capacity as a 14-year-old female, had been contacted online by Walizer in February 2010 and solicited for sex. Walizer had asked the girl/undercover agent about her level of sexual experience, and if she was looking for an older man to teach her about sex. In continued online conversations, Walizer's statements became more sexually graphic, and he told the girl he loved her and that she was his girlfriend, and began speaking about engaging in sexual acts with her. The girl told Walizer she was going to Las Vegas to see an uncle. HSI agents arrested Walizer at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on March 12, 2010, where the girl's plane was supposed to arrive.
"This sentence should serve as a sobering warning about the serious consequences facing those who sexually exploit underage victims," said Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Las Vegas. "The lengthy sentence should also be reassuring for the community because it ensures this predator will no longer be at liberty to prey on young people and put our children at risk."
The case was investigated by ICE HSI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy J. Koppe and Cristina Silva.
This case is a result of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (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.
Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.