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Man arrested in Craigslist sting

Howard Houchen Wang of Mission Viejo is fourth man arrested in five months by undercover officers.

May 20, 2010

A fourth man was arrested in a Craigslist sting on suspicion of attempting to a pay a 13-year-old girl for sex Tuesday.

Mission Viejo resident Howard Houchen Wang, 38, was arrested and booked into the Huntington Beach Jail. He is expected to be charged today with four felony counts for attempting lewd acts on a child, luring a child with intent to commit a crime, meeting a minor to commit lewd conduct and showing lewd material to a minor.

Wang began talking to Huntington Beach detectives posing as a 13-year-old girl on Craigslist, sending her e-mails and pictures of himself, police said.

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Police arrested him 8 p.m. Tuesday in Surf City as he was driving to the city to allegedly pay to have sex with the fictitious girl.

Officials declined to release specific information on the ongoing investigation.

Wang is the fourth man in five months to be arrested in a Craiglist sting by police.

David Bryan, of Anaheim, was arrested March 8; Gabriel Francis Preto, 27, of Newport Beach, was arrested Jan. 19; and Venson Villapando, 25, of Brea, was arrested Dec. 22.

Detectives have special training to take part in this kind of police activity and do similar stings to catch prostitutes on Craigslist.

— Britney Barnes

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