West Richland man sentenced to 78 months imprisonment for travel - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland man sentenced to 78 months imprisonment for travel for sex with minor

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, WA – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Dale H. Weber, age 53, of West Richland, Washington, was sentenced today for one count of Travel in Interstate Commerce for the Purpose of Engaging in a Sexual Act With a Minor. United States District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Dale H. Weber to a 78-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by 10 years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Weber will also be required to register as a sex offender.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, in the fall of 2014, Weber posted a personals ad, “seeking naughty young girl.” An undercover task force officer with Homeland Security Investigations working with Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children, saw the ad and responded, posing as a 13-year-old girl. During a series of online communications, Weber graphically described different sex acts that he would like to perform on the child. Eventually, Weber discussed meeting the child, at a specific location, for sexual contact.

Weber drove to the meet location, and was observed as he drove through the location at a slow rate of speed, in a vehicle registered to himself, and scanning the area. Weber later had a conversation with the purported 13-year-old wherein the child stated her mother had picked her up when she attempted to meet him.

Weber discussed meeting the child in Oregon, approximately a week later for sex. When the date came, again, Defendant arrived at the meet location. When he did not find the child he sent a series of angry text messages about wasting time and gas. The child explained she had trouble keeping in contact with Weber as her parents do not put many minutes on her phone. The two discussed Weber buying her a new phone. A third meeting was then set. When Weber arrived at the meet location, he was arrested. A new prepaid phone is found in his car. The receipt in his pocket indicated it was a new purchase.

On April 11, 2016, Weber pled guilty to Travel in Interstate Commerce for the Purpose of Engaging in a Sexual Act with a Minor. At sentencing, today Weber stated, “I fully take responsibility for my actions.” Judge Mendoza told Weber “this is an extremely serious offense,” and went on to tell Weber his behavior, specifically, was “extremely concerning,” and made more so by his repeated attempts to contact a person he believed to be a thirteen-year-old child. Judge Mendoza then announced sentence to 78 months imprisonment and 10 years supervised release.

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

This investigation was conducted by the Homeland Security Investigations and the Southeast Regional ICAC. The case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.