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Man faces federal charges after teen missing from Nipomo was found in Mexico

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 01:37:44-04

A Southern California man is facing federal charges related to a recent missing person case in Nipomo.

Daniel Navarro, 38, of Victorville is charged with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Federal investigators say Navarro, who sometimes uses the name "Angel," posed online as a teenage boy to entice a 15-year-old girl to have a sexual relationship with him.

Navarro and an accomplice, identified as Julie Le, 20, of Garden Grove, are accused of hiding the girl in the back seat of a car and driving her to Tijuana, Mexico on July 1.

The two were arrested Sunday night as they entered the United States from Mexico. The teen was reportedly rescued from a home in Tijuana Monday morning and has been reunited with her family.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice say Navarro had an online relationship with the victim for the past year. Investigators say he has also tried to entice other teenage girls to send him sexual images.

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Daniel Navarro and Julie Le

Navarro and Le are scheduled to appear in United States District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 13.

If found guilty, they each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a potential of life without parole.

Editor's note: The Department of Justice initially reported that the maximum penalty for the charge of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor was 10 years in prison.