A federal grand jury has indicted a 28-year-old Woodinville man who was one of four Seattle-area men to be arrested and charged following an FBI sting operation to find adults seeking to sexually assault children, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Brian Moran.
Christopher Sinfield was charged with attempted enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography.
In September and October of 2020, undercover agents communicated with the men via internet platforms about the intent to sexually abuse children.
Kirkland Police officers arrested Sinfield on Oct. 1, according to court documents. He had been communicating with an undercover officer whom he thought to be a 13-year-old female, and traveled to a location to meet “for sexual acts,” the documents state.
When arrested, officers found images of child sex abuse saved on his device, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release .
During the sting operation, agents also arrested and charged Eric Hogan, 33, of Seattle; Justice Galloway, 26, of Everett; and Marcus Lowe, 33, of Kirkland.
Lowe had been arrested after communicating with an agent about his intent to sexually assault a fictitious 10-year-old girl. He attempted to flee from agents, but ending up driving his car into an officer’s SUV, court documents state. His car pinned one of the officers against the law enforcement SUV, dislocating the officer’s shoulder.
After the arrest, further investigation found that Lowe had allegedly molested a child under the age of 12.
If found guilty, the defendants face a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life in prison for attempted enticement of a minor. Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years and up to 20 years for assault of a federal officer.
“During this time of social distancing, we are relying on the Internet more than ever,” Donald M. Voiret, FBI special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Office, said in a statement. “Although electronic resources are so pervasive in our daily lives, we must remain ever vigilant and remember how powerful and far-reaching they can be, both for good and for harm. This case demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the FBI to protect our most vulnerable citizens: our children.”
The cases are being investigated by the FBI. The operation was conducted in cooperation with the Seattle Police Department and the Kirkland Police Department, the press release states.
The cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Laura Harmon and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton. Harmon is a King County deputy prosecutor specially designated to pursue child sexual exploitation cases in federal court.