TACOMA — A registered sex offender with two prior child-pornography-related convictions — including in Clallam County — has been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 14 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release for enticement of a minor.
Peter James Hufferd, 47, was sentenced Friday, said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran, in press release.
Hufferd was on federal supervision living in sex-offender housing in Seattle when law enforcement discovered he was secretly using a cell phone to communicate with minor females via social media, the press release said, adding that he convinced at least two of the girls to send him sexually explicit images.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said Hufferd showed a pattern of criminal conduct that poses “a danger to society.”
According to records filed in the case,
Hufferd had just completed a 10-year prison term in April 2017 when he began federal supervision in which he was allowed one monitored cellular phone.
Beginning no later than October 2017, Hufferd used an unmonitored cellphone to communicate with minors on SnapChat, Instagram and Tumblr, court records said.
He had been convicted in 2003 in Clallam County Superior Court of three counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 85 days in custody, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
At the time, law enforcement determined Hufferd was posing online as a 15-year-old girl to try to get minors to send him sexually explicit images., the press release said.
In 2008, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a father discovered his 12-year-old daughter was chatting online with him while thinking he was a 15-year-old girl, the press release said.
Hufferd was encouraging the child to cut herself, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A search of Hufferd’s computer revealed more than 300 sexually explicit images of children, the press release said.
In the current case, in March 2018, U.S. Probation agents discovered the unmonitored cell phone in a search of Hufferd’s sex-offender residence. A court-authorized search warrant revealed his illegal communications via social media, the press release said.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian Werner.