Sting operation leads to two men sentenced on sex crimes

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BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Two men involved in sex offenses with minors were sentenced.

United States Attorney Mike Stuart said Arun Dhavamani of Camp Creek was sentenced to 30 months in prison for traveling across state lines in order to engage in sexual activity. Jeffery Sexton Jr. of Virginia Beach was sentenced to 63 months in prison.

According to the release, both men will served a term of 15 years on supervised released when they are released from prison.

“The children of this district have no better champion than my office,” Stuart said. “I will seek maximum penalties for those who prey on West Virginia’s most vulnerable.”

In November 2019, Dhavamani was convicted by a jury. During trial, the evidence showed on June 1, 2019, Dhavamani communicated with someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl, but was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. The two discussed having sex with each other. Dhavamani then proceed to traveled from the Ghent area to Bluefield, Virginia to meet with the reported teen.

In January 2020, Sexton was convicted by a jury. At his trial, evidence revealed Sexton began communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on a social messaging and dating app around May 28, 2020. Sexton brought up the topic of oral sex with the purported minor. At around 1 a.m. on June 1, 2019, he traveled from Bluefield, Virginia to Bluefield, West Virginia, to meet the alleged 13-year-old after telling her to sneak out of her house.

On May 31, 2019, Sexton had also reached out to chat with two other law enforcement officers posing as minors on the same messaging application, discussing oral sex with one of them.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, in conjunction with the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, conducted the investigations.

Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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