Moorhead man sentenced for distributing child porn, attempted sex trafficking

James Vanraden
James Vanraden(Cass County Jail)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 11:13 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Moorhead man was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison for attempted sex trafficking of a child and distribution of child pornography. James Duane Vanraden, 48, of Moorhead was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release.

Investigation revealed that between December 2019 and July 2020, Vanraden attempted to solicit, who he thought was, a 10-year-old girl for commercial sex acts. An undercover officer posted an ad on Craigslist searching for a “tutor” for his 10-year-old daughter. Vanraden responded to the Craigslist post and began communicating with the officer.

Over the next seven months, authorities say Vanraden sent the officer child pornography and arranged to engage in sex with the 10-year-old girl. Eventually, Vanraden arranged for the officer to receive a $200 payment via Venmo in exchange for the sexual activity.

On February 8, 2022, Vanraden pleaded guilty to Attempting Sex Trafficking of Children under the age of 14 and Distributing Materials Containing Child Pornography.

This case was investigated by the West Fargo Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations. It was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.

Project Safe Childhood, in conjunction with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. Project Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims.

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