Ex-fire captain admits trying to arrange sexual encounter with minor

A former Clark County Fire Department captain faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison after admitting he used the Internet to arrange a sexual encounter with a minor.

Martin Vohwinkel, 56, of Las Vegas pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to coerce and entice a minor for sex.

U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt is scheduled to sentence Vohwinkel, who is free on his own recognizance, on Dec. 17.

Henderson police arrested Vohwinkel in February, and a federal grand jury indicted him in March.

According to the arrest report, an undercover detective arranged a meeting with Vohwinkel after seeing a “casual encounter” posting seeking a “very young girl.”

Police arrested Vohwinkel in a parking lot where he was expecting to meet a 14-year-old girl, the report said.

At a hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Koppe said Vohwinkel sent the detective an e-mail in which he wrote that he was interested in a girl, “the younger the better.” Vohwinkel also sent a nude picture of himself.

In addition, he offered to bring marijuana to the meeting and had a condom in his vehicle, Koppe said.

At the March hearing, defense attorney Bill Terry said Vohwinkel was a 29-year veteran of the Fire Department and a lifelong resident of the community.

Vohwinkel appeared at No. 18 on a list of Clark County’s 50 highest-paid employees in 2008, when his pay totaled $230,166.

County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said Vohwinkel resigned earlier this year.

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