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Press Release

Okaloosa County Sex Offender Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Child Exploitation Offenses

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

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Richard D. Waterson II, 47, a registered sex offender living in Crestview, was sentenced yesterday to 480 months in prison after pleading guilty on January 26, 2017, to attempted enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and for committing a felony involving a minor, while a registered sex offender.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

 

In May and June 2016, Waterson and an undercover officer conversed online regarding sexual contact with the undercover officer’s fictitious 13-year-old daughter “Amber.”  Waterson was arrested when he approached the hotel where he had agreed to engage in sexual activity with “Amber.”  After his arrest, multiple computers were seized from Waterson.  A forensic examination located more than 600 child pornography images and videos, downloaded from the internet, on his electronic devices.

 

The case was investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Crestview Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey M. Tharp.

 

U.S. Attorney Canova said: “Especially today, on Halloween, as many of us enjoy trick-or-treating with our children, it is comforting to know that diligent prosecutors and law enforcement professionals are working tirelessly year round to pursue these child predators and keep our communities safe places to live.  This 40-year prison sentence sends a strong message to those who seek to exploit innocent children.”

 

“This child predator will spend the next four decades behind bars,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.  “HSI special agents undoubtedly stopped this criminal from victimizing more children.”

 

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Contact

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
amy.alexander@usdoj.gov

Updated October 31, 2017

Topic
Project Safe Childhood