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Martin accepts plea deal after sex sting

Daniel Martin

A Lake Havasu City man snared in an undercover sting operation targeting men preying upon underage women entered a plea agreement in Kingman Thursday. Daniel Martin, 33, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of attempted luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

Martin is one of nine men from Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Kingman and Las Vegas who were indicted for allegedly attempting to have sex with someone they believed to be a teenager who was actually a Mohave County Sheriff’s office detective. Authorities allege each of the defendants responded to a law enforcement planted social media post before diverting to text messages to communicate with someone they believed to be “Sabrina”, a 13-year-old girl.

Public Defender Robin Puchek said he believes that Martin was the least culpable of the group of defendants. He said Martin’s communications with the detective posing as a teenager on April 18 occurred over the course of only three hours whereas another defendant, for example, exchanged more than 1,200 text messages with “Sabrina” over the course of several months.

That defendant, Kevin Moninger, 63, Las Vegas, faces up to 40 years in prison when sentenced following convictions at trial. Two other defendants who entered plea agreements face 5-10 year prison terms when sentenced.

Martin is guaranteed probation when he is sentenced July 3 but terms of the agreement require him to serve a full year in the county jail. Martin will also be required to register as a sex offender once released from jail.

Also awaiting trial or case disposition by plea agreement is Warren Mitchell Gillespie, 45, Lake Havasu City.