A suspected sexual predator who was arrested after a month-long sting works at Denver International Airport as an agent with the Transportation Security Administration, the TSA confirmed.
The sting operation began in early June, with officers posing as underage teenagers on the Internet, said Police Chief Ron Grannis of the Fort Lupton Police Department.
Detective Crystal Schwartz set up a false account, posing as a 14-year-old girl with several decoy pictures, Grannis said.
"It was not long before Det. Schwartz was contacted on the site by a male," he said. "This male began to 'instant message' Det. Schwartz ... said he was 52 years old and began to steer the conversation in a sexual direction."
He had identified himself as a DIA employee, who did security for the airport and the federal government, according to an affidavit obtained by The Greeley Tribune
The man sent sexually explicit photos of himself and asked for pictures from the decoy in return, the police chief said. He then began to press Schwartz for a face-to-face meeting where he could buy her alcohol, Grannis said. He told her she couldn't show the pictures to her mom or be drunk in front of her parents because he could get in trouble.
The detective agreed to meet him in Fort Lupton, police said. When the man arrived on July 3, he had "bottles of wine cooler, a camera and an expectation of meeting a child," Grannis said.
Police arrested the man and have identified him as Stanley Gantt of Northglenn.
Gantt, 53, was booked into the Weld County Jail under charges of sexual exploitation of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He is being held on $100,000 bond.
Gantt has been a TSA officer since 2004, Carrie Harmon, a spokeswoman for the TSA, told the newspaper. She told the Tribune she couldn't cannot comment further on the case but that the TSA is conducting an internal investigation to see if any action should be taken.
Gantt's computer desktop and laptop computers have been seized as part of the investigation. Grannis said detectives will search his computer to see if there are other alleged victims and if there was child porn in his hard drive.
"It is very satisfying to take a sexual predator such as this off the street," Grannis said. "If we have succeeded in protecting one child, the long hours of this investigation have been worth it."
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