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Man, 53, Charged Under New Law

Times Staff Writer

A 53-year-old man was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of traveling to Orange County from his home in Gulfport, Miss., to have sex with a 13-year-old boy who was in fact a Fountain Valley police officer posing on the Internet.

Daniel Diamond Tucker is the second man to be indicted in Orange County under a 13-week-old law providing mandatory minimum sentences of five years in prison for those convicted of sex crimes against children. A 31-year-old Anaheim man was arrested this month for allegedly using the Internet to arrange a sexual liaison with a 13-year-old girl who was actually an FBI agent.

“I think [these cases] demonstrate [our] commitment to prosecuting these types of crimes,” said Richard Y. Lee, assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting Tucker.

According to an affidavit by an FBI agent involved in the case and supplied by Lee’s office, Tucker, who described himself as an on-air radio personality, began corresponding by e-mail on June 19 with a Fountain Valley police officer posing as a 13-year-old boy in search of an “older friend.”

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Over the next several weeks, the affidavit says, the two had several discussions regarding sex, eventually resulting in Tucker coming to California by bus, truck and hitchhiking.

FBI agents in Texas and New Mexico kept him under surveillance during the trip. At one point, the affidavit says, two agents even gave him a ride to a bus stop, and another agent later sat next to Tucker at a University of New Mexico computer terminal as he sent e-mail to the California “boy.”

According to the affidavit, Tucker was arrested July 19 at a fast-food restaurant in Fountain Valley when he showed up to meet the officer who had posed as the boy.

He’s being held without bail at Orange County Jail with formal arraignment set for Aug. 11, Lee said.

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