Clarkston Man Convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington
Yakima, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that a jury returned verdicts on December 6, 2023, following the trial of David Elmo Curry, 38 of Clarkston, Washington. Curry was convicted by a jury on two counts of Attempted Enticement of a Minor.
Evidence introduced at trial established that on November 16, 2019, Curry was arrested when he arrived at a house in Yakima, Washington after having responded to an on-line ad by a woman purporting to be the mother of two daughters – ages 11 and 13. According to the ad, the mother was seeking money in exchange for sex with her minor children. The on-line ad actually was part of a sting operation conducted by the Washington State Patrol, assisted by the Yakima and Union Gap Police Departments and Homeland Security Investigations. At the time of his arrest, Curry had condoms and flavored lubricant with him. Curry was then charged in Yakima County Superior Court with Attempted First Degree Attempted Rape of a Child and Second Degree Attempted Rape of a child. He later was released on bail on these state charges.
Following Curry’s release on bail, a Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer, acting in an undercover capacity, responded to a separate on-line ad, which Curry placed by while on release. The undercover officer represented that he was a thirteen-year-old girl and Curry engaged the officer in sexual talk, requested nude images, and made arrangements to meet with him in person. At one point, Curry determined the purported child’s preferred candy and purchased flavored lubricant in a corresponding flavor for a planned meeting the next day, which never took place.
Chief United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastian presided over the trial, which began on December 4, 2023. Sentencing in this matter is set for March 26, 2024. Curry faces a minimum sentence of 10 years’ incarceration and a maximum possible sentence of life imprisonment, as well as no less than five years of supervised release and mandatory sex offender registration for each count.
“Mr. Curry attempted to meet, what he believed to be, a 13-year-old child for sex. When Mr. Curry did so, he had been released on bail for a similar charge,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am thankful to our excellent law enforcement partners and the members of the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who work to ensure our communities are protected from those that would harm the most vulnerable among us.”
“Once again, we are so proud of the teamwork and dedication displayed by the partnership with the SER-ICAC team, including the Washington State Patrol and Yakima Police Department, on this case,” stated Commander Damon Janson, Investigations Division with the Richland Police Department. “Having a dedicated, southeast regional team, focused on child internet sex crimes is both important and vital to the world we live in today.”
“This sentence serves as a poignant reminder of the vigilance required to shield our communities from those who prey on the most vulnerable. In a chilling narrative, Curry's actions, even while on bail for similar charges, lay bare the urgent need for unwavering dedication to protecting our children,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “I’m thankful for our law enforcement partnerships on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that continue to demonstrate through these arrests that we will continue to patrol the shadows of the internet to bring these predators to justice.”
This case was 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Washington State Patrol, the Yakima Police Department and the Southeast Regional ICAC Task Force, consisting of the Richland and Kennewick Police Departments. This case was prosecuted and tried to a jury by Michael Murphy, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
Public Affairs Specialist
Updated December 11, 2023
Project Safe Childhood