Washington man pleads guilty after traveling to Idaho to have sex with a minor


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Harley Lee Howell | Court documents

COEUR D’ALENE — A Washington man has pleaded guilty to traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor.

Court documents show Harley Lee Howell, III, 35, of Colville, Washinton, initiated a chat on the social media app Grindr with a federal Homeland Security Investigations agent posing as a 14-year-old minor in August 2017.

Howell initiated the chat by sending the undercover agent three photos of himself, two of which were sexually explicit. The agent responded by saying “Yes I’m looking. Just thought I’d be too young for you.”

Howell responded, “Hell no im (sic) into younger.”

According to documents, throughout the chat conversation, Howell and the agent discussed things of a sexual nature and eventually agreed to meet at the Marriott Springhill Suites hotel in Coeur d’Alene.

When Howell arrived at room 301 he was taken into custody by Department of Homeland Security and FBI Special Agents.

When questioned authorities Howell admitted to having multiple sexual encounters with a 14-year-old boy. He said those encounters happened in November, January, February, and March 2017 and always happened in his White Ford F350.

According to documents, during a polygraph, Howell admitted to having sexual contact with other males under that age of 18.

Howell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 14, 2017.