SEATTLE — A 39-year-old Ferndale man was arrested Friday for allegedly trying to travel to British Columbia to have sex with a person he believed to be a 12-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said.
Christopher David Johnston was arrested as he attempted to illegally enter Canada Friday morning, Hayes said. He is charged by a federal complaint with attempted enticement of a minor.
According to the criminal complaint, Johnston began communicating with a person who responded to a personal ad he had placed on Craigslist. The ad said he was seeking a “young lady to spoil.”
An undercover agent responded to the ad, indicating that she was not yet 13 years old. Despite knowing that young age, Hayes said in a news release, Johnston engaged in “increasingly sexualized emails, texts and chats with the agent, ultimately arranging to meet the ‘child’ in Abbotsford, BC for sex.”
He was arrested as he rode his bicycle toward the border near Sumas, Wash., Hayes said.
Attempted enticement of a minor is punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison.
Hayes said Johnston will remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing next week.