Crime and Courts

Man Arrested After Allegedly Planning to Use Benadryl to Entice Boy Into Sexual Activities

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A New York man was arrested after allegedly trying to entice a young boy into sexual activities, as law enforcement said he intended to drug the child while doing so.

Richard Nguyen was arrested Thursday after getting caught in an undercover sting operation by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office for he Southern District of New York said in a press release.

The criminal complaint stated that the 29-year-old Manhattan resident initiated a series of conversations on messaging platforms with an FBI agent who was posing as a father of an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy. During these conversations, which started in Oct. 2020, Nguyen allegedly expressed his desire to engage in sexual activity with either child.

Nguyen and the undercover agent arranged to meet at a Manhattan coffee shop on Jan. 20, with the understanding that they would then go to the undercover's apartment so Nguyen could sexually assault the child, the criminal complaint read. As the pair left the coffee shop, law enforcement arrested Nguyen.

Among other things, Nguyen was found to be in possession of children's Benadryl and a contraceptive, the complaint said.

"It's unfathomable to believe anyone would see a 5-year-old boy as a sexual being," said FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll. "What's more despicable in this investigation, we allege the subject brought Benadryl to drug the child. The work these agents do is truly difficult, but so tremendously important protecting children from predators."

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called the allegations "as chilling and disturbing as one can imagine."

Nguyen was charged with one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. If found guilty, the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, or possibly up to life in prison.

Attorney information for Nguyen was not immediately available.

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