By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Gillette man was arrested last week in a federal investigation into men allegedly seeking underage girls for sex.
James David Moore has not yet pleaded to the charge of attempting to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. If convicted, he faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
Last week, Wyoming Homeland Security agents took part in an investigation with other agencies targeting men who were seeking sex with children online.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the charges, prior to the sting, an advertisement was posted on an adult escort website for the Billings, Montana, area that included photos of two petite adult women and listed their ages as 19. A phone number was given for men to text the girls.
On Wednesday afternoon, Moore texted the number, inquiring if the girls were in Billings and if they took cash. A Homeland Security agent responded, saying cash was great and that the girls were actually 12 and 14.
Moore and the agent texted for about seven hours on Wednesday. He questioned the agent’s age, if she was available for services, if she and the kids were traveling to Wyoming and demanded to know if the agent was actually a law enforcement officer.
Later that evening, the agent and Moore spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, during which he asked what the “rules” for the girls were and said he wanted to see both of them. He also said he would “take it slow and easy” with the younger girl.
Moore asked the agent to meet him “halfway” in Sheridan, and that he would pay for a hotel room for her and the girls. He did say he was nervous because he had “never done this young thing.”
On Thursday, Moore and the agent continued discuss the logistics of planning a sexual encounter with the girls.
On Friday, Moore got a hotel room in Sheridan with the intent of meeting a woman with the girls and spoke with a Homeland Security agent in the parking lot at one point. He asked if she and the girls would join him while registering for the hotel room, if she would stay “during” and flashed a wad of cash at her.
Upon exiting his vehicle, Moore was arrested and $1,200 was found on his person.
Moore admitted to speaking with the agent about the sexual encounter and told police that he should have reported the woman he encountered online about selling her daughters for sex.
When asked directly about the ages of the girls and the sex acts discussed, Moore stated all of the information would be on his phone. Following his interview with police, he was taken to the Johnson County Detention Center.