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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nevada Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Sexual Act with Child Under 12

            Fort Smith, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that David Harper, age 50 of Henderson, Nevada, was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison followed by five (5) years of supervised release on one count of Knowingly Crossing State Lines with Intent to Engage in Sexual Act with Person Under 12 Years Old. The sentencing hearing took place before the Honorable Chief Judge P. K. Holmes, III in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.  

            Court records reflect that in August 2015, David Harper began chatting online with an undercover detective working with the Fort Smith Police Department.  On January 25, Harper traveled from Las Vegas to Fort Smith and was taken into custody when he arrived at the Fort Smith airport. When interviewed, Harper admitted that he traveled to Arkansas with the intent to engage in sex acts with a minor under 12 years of age.  He was indicted by federal grand jury in January 2016 and pleaded guilty in June 2016. 

            This case was investigated by the Fort Smith Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant United States Attorney Ashleigh Buckley prosecuted the case for the United States.

            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 their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (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

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Related court documents may be found on Public Access to Electronic Records Website

Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 17, 2016