Minot man accused of trying to lure teen girl

A 29-year-old Minot man allegedly fell for an online law enforcement sting operation and thought he was arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Weston Dale Calvert is charged with luring a minor by computer, a Class B felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. If he is convicted, there is a minimum required sentence of one year in prison under state law. Calvert would also be required to register as a sex offender.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with North Central District Court, a sergeant with the Ward County Sheriff’s Office posted an ad on Craiglist.com on June 14 posing as a teenager. Calvert allegedly responded to the ad on June 15 and told the undercover officer that he wanted to meet for sex, even after he was informed he was talking to a 14-year-old. On Monday, he reportedly called the sheriff’s office and spoke to a female deputy to set up a meeting, but didn’t arrive. On Tuesday, Calvert allegedly texted the female deputy posing as the 14-year-old, said he wanted to meet and made excuses for why he didn’t show up the day before. He arranged to meet her at Oak Park in Minot. When Calvert showed up, law enforcement officers from the sheriff’s office placed Calvert under arrest. Calvert allegedly told the officer that he was at the park to “meet a 14 year old girl and tell her that she shouldn’t be meeting people from Craigslist.”

Calvert made an initial appearance in North Central District Court in Minot on Wednesday, where Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Ashlei Neufeld asked Judge Stacy Louser to set bond at $100,000. Neufeld said Calvert is from California, has limited ties to the community, and the offense is a serious one.

Calvert told the judge that he just signed a six month lease and doesn’t plan to leave Minot. He said the officer who arrested him said the bond would probably be under about $10,000.

“I think $100,000 is way, way out of proportion,” said Calvert.

Calvert said he plans to make application for a court-appointed lawyer because he can’t afford to hire an attorney.

Louser said bond has two purposes, to ensure that the defendant shows up for court dates and to ensure the safety of the community. She decided to follow the state’s recommendation to set bond at $100,000 corporate surety. If Calvert is released on bond, Louser said he will not be permitted to use the Internet or electronic devices, including a cell phone. He also must stay 1,000 feet away from schools and child care facilities and cannot go to places frequented by minors, including shopping malls.

A preliminary hearing date is set for July 28 before Louser.


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