Feds: Metro-area man attempted to hold girl captive, have wife killed

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DENVER — Danny James McLaughlin stands accused of attempting to hold a 13-year-old girl captive for sex and trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife.

The criminal complaint filed against McLaughlin says his crimes started on the dark web — in chat room for people who enjoy torture and killing.

McLaughlin unwittingly conspired with an undercover federal agent to rape and kill the agent’s fictitious 13-year-old daughter, according to a probable cause affidavit.

McLaughlin was seemingly under the impression that the man wanted him to kidnap his daughter. McLaughlin is accused of typing, “ … taking her.. would be a dream come true.. a captive teen …”

In exchange for taking the daughter off the agent’s hands, McLaughlin is accused of asking that his wife be killed, saying she attends meetings at a business in a Littleton strip mall every Sunday morning.

Federal authorities say McLaughlin wanted his wife killed in a parking lot off South Wadsworth Boulevard and West Belleview Avenue. He suggested a couple of options, including using chloroform, snapping her neck or using a handgun with a silencer.

Public records show McLaughlin lived in a residential neighborhood near South Kipling Parkway and West Coal Mine Avenue with a Littleton address. A neighbor told FOX31 she recently saw investigators taking evidence from his home.

On May 17, McLaughlin agreed to meet his apparent hitman at a hotel in Centennial, according to the complaint. Instead, he was met by the undercover agent and arrested.

McLaughlin has a preliminary court date at U.S. District Court in downtown Denver on June 3. He is charged with attempted online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

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