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Press Release

Oklahoma City Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Attempting to Entice a 14-Year-Old

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – HARRY DEAN WHEELER, JR., 68, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced today for attempting to entice a minor to have sex, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint, an undercover agent with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs posted an advertisement on Craigslist on September 19, 2017, in which he claimed to be a boy looking for a "daddy" who would be "willing to teach me about sex."  The affidavit explained that through the Craigslist email reply function, Wheeler used explicit sexual language to indicate he wanted to meet the boy for a sexual encounter.  He also included three nude photos of himself.  According to the affidavit, the undercover agent responded: "Wow, your [sic] hot and sound really cool.  Just to get it out of the way, I’m 14, but I’m very mature for my age, that’s why I don’t mind older guys."  The affidavit stated Wheeler then replied by email: "We must keep it a secret as what we will be doing is not legal."  Wheeler allegedly arranged to meet the person he thought was a 14-year-old boy in the parking lot of a business at 5501 North May Avenue in Oklahoma City, with the intention of driving him to his own residence.  When Wheeler arrived at the parking lot and identified himself to the undercover agent as "daddy," federal agents arrested him.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Wheeler on September 21, 2017.  On November 8, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted him on one count of using a facility and means of interstate commerce to attempt to persuade, induce, and entice an individual he believed to be under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity.  On December 7, 2017, Wheeler pleaded guilty to that offense before U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti.

At sentencing today, Judge DeGiusti sentenced Wheeler to ten years in prison.  Upon release from prison, he will serve five years on supervised release.  He will also be required to pay a $5,000 special assessment pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. 

This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Hale prosecuted the case.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Updated May 15, 2018

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