An Anchorage man has been sentenced to federal prison after authorities say he made arrangements with an undercover detective to pay to have sex with minors in 2017.

U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline sentenced Danny Ray Lowe, 50, to serve 16 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, a release from the Anchorage Police Department said on Wednesday.

"According to court documents, Lowe promptly responded to an online advertisement placed by a detective working an undercover operation," the release states. "Over an approximate six-month period, Lowe corresponded with the detective using text messages to negotiate the time, place, and price to have sex with two fictional girls, aged 13 and 14."

Lowe arrived at an agreed-upon Anchorage motel on Sept. 12, 2017, "ready and willing to pay $150 for two hours of illegal sex with the two minors," the release continues. He brought condoms and strawberry-flavored personal lubricant to the motel.

The release states that local and federal law enforcement officers arrested Lowe after he knocked on the motel door. He confessed to the detective and wrote an apology to the girls' parents, unaware they were fictional.

During a three-day trial in July 2018, Lowe testified that he was attempting to rescue the minors, not pay for sex with them. After the trial, a federal jury convicted him of two counts of attempted sexual trafficking of a minor and two counts of attempted enticement of a minor.

"At the sentencing hearing, Judge Beistline explained that the purpose of the sentence imposed was to protect the community and deter others from paying to have sex with children," the release states. "The court found that Lowe had lied and knew, 'deep down,' that he was guilty."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the Anchorage Police Department, conducted the joint investigation on Lowe. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas M. Walker and brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child exploitation and abuse.

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