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Former Fire Captain Sentenced for Federal Child Sex Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2010

Las Vegas, Nev. – Former Clark County Fire Department Captain Martin Vohwinkel was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt to 10 years in federal prison and lifetime supervised release for his guilty plea to using a facility of interstate commerce to coerce and entice a minor for sex, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Vohwinkel, 56, of Las Vegas, posted an advertisement on Craigslist.com, in February 2010, stating he wanted to have sex with a young girl in exchange for money. The ad stated, "the younger the better." An undercover Henderson Police Department detective, posing as a 14-year-old girl, replied to the advertisement, and on the same day, Vohwinkel sent a return email asking the girl if she wanted to have sex. Vohwinkel stated that he needed to have sex with the girl as soon as possible, and sent her two pictures of himself, including one in which he was naked. Vohwinkel also told the girl that he was a local firefighter, and provided his name, "Marty," and his telephone number. Vohwinkel told the girl repeatedly that he wanted to meet her for sex, told her what he wanted her to wear, and repeatedly asked her for naked pictures of herself. Vohwinkel was arrested in a supermarket parking lot in Henderson where he had made arrangements to meet the girl.

Vohwinkel must self-report to federal prison by February 18, 2011, at noon.

The case was investigated by the Southern Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the FBI, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Henderson Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Koppe.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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