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Press Release

Washington Man Pleads Guilty for Traveling to Idaho to Have Sex with a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

COEUR D’ALENE – Harley Lee Howell, III, 35, of Colville, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.  Howell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene on September 14, 2017.

According to court records, on August 25, 2017, Howell initiated a chat with an undercover federal Homeland Security Investigations agent posing as a fifteen-year old minor.  During the chat, Howell stated that he wanted to have sex with the minor.  Howell then drove from Washington to Idaho and was arrested outside a Coeur d’Alene hotel room.  Officers seized lubricant and condoms from Howell’s person.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations office with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Marshals Service, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, and the Washington Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

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Public Information Officer
(208) 334-1211

Updated June 19, 2018

Project Safe Childhood