VCU police chief snared in sex sting http://www.privateofficer.com
Suspended Virginia Commonwealth University Police Chief Willie Fuller appeared briefly in a Chesterfield County court this afternoon for arraignment on charges of soliciting sex with a minor in an online sting operation.
Fuller, who appeared by video teleconference from the jail, did not yet have an attorney. A preliminary hearing was set for April 2.
After the hearing, Chesterfield Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Rigler said Fuller thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl, not a detective, when the alleged offenses occurred Jan. 10.
“There was one day of chatting,” he said, “everything he was charged with happened on that one day.”
He was charged with two counts of using a computer to solicit sex from a minor and two counts of attempted indecent liberties with a minor.
Fuller is 50, but Rigler said he portrayed himself online as being about 35. Fuller’s screen name was hotcop2006, Rigler said.
Earlier today VCU said it had suspended Fuller without pay.
Virginia Commonwealth University Police Chief Willie B. Fuller has been arrested in an online sting operation in Chesterfield County and charged with soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl, police said today.
Police said Fuller, 50, was arrested last night at his home in the 9000 block of Meadowfield Court in Henrico County. He was charged with two counts of using a computer to solicit sex from a minor and two counts of attempted indecent liberties with a minor.
His arrest resulted from a sting operation that involved undercover detectives going to online chatrooms or other Internet sites popular with juveniles. The detectives then create fictitious posts and pose as minors.
Although police declined to provide more specific information in this case, meetings are usually arranged between the detectives and the people with whom they communicate, most of whom are seeking sex.
Chesterfield Police Maj. Dan Kelly said Fuller clearly believed he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl.
“I’m not sure which [Internet] medium the detective was using at the time it occurred,” Kelly said. “But it was part of our ongoing online efforts in these areas. When time permits, our detectives trained in this area will utilize their time and go online.”
Kelly declined to say when Fuller made contact and over what period of time.
“We’re going to wait to talk more about the investigation at a later time,” he said.
Fuller is being held without bond in the Chesterfield Jail pending a pre-trial hearing this afternoon in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
VCU suspended Fuller without pay and appointed Carlton Edwards, a VCU police captain, as interim chief.
“We’ve taken action,” said VCU Rector Thomas Rosenthal. He said he received a call from university President Eugene Trani this morning about the arrest.
“We regard this situation as extremely serious,” Trani said in an alert sent to member of the campus community. “We have taken aggressive action to address it, and we will cooperate in all appropriate ways with the Chesterfield County Police investigation.”
Fuller came to VCU as police chief in 2000 from Virginia State University, where he was also police chief, said John M. Bennett, VCU senior vice president for finance and administration. Fuller also previously worked for VCU police.
Bennett said VCU instituted criminal background checks on all employees at some point after Fuller was hired, but he said he knew of no complaints against him.
He also said he did not know if any VCU computer equipment had been taken by Chesterfield police from Fuller’s home. Bennett said VCU did not plan its own investigaton.
Chesterfield Police Chief Thierry Dupuis notified VCU officials this morning of Fuller’s arrest, Bennett said. The board of visitors was notified and about 30 minutes later VCU President Eugene Trani alerted the university community by e-mail.
Bennett said Edwards, the acting chief, had been with VCU for 24 years and was the most senior captain on the force, which has 82 officers. Bennett said he met with the officers this morning and “they are stunned and shocked, as we all are.”
But he said there will be an orderly transfer of power. Edwards had filled in as chief previously when Fuller was on medical leave.
Fuller was an art student at VCU in the 1970s and worked as a student security officer. In a 2003 interview with The Times-Dispatch, he said it was from that experience that he found that he liked police work.
JOIN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE OFFICERSwww.privateofficer.com/
Get news alerts, officer down, weather emergency news in your mailbox! Sign up;firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at www.myspace.com/privateofficernews
Come be part of our social network! http://www.privateofficer.com
University of S. Alabama professor snared in sex sting http://www.privateofficer.com
A University of South Alabama economics professor has been charged with sending obscene pictures to a minor.
Federal law enforcement officers arrested Barry Simpson, an assistant professor at USA’s Mitchell College of Business, on Nov. 17.
According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Mobile, an FBI agent accused Simpson of sending two photos of his erect penis to an undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl.
The case will be heard in U.S. District Court in Miami because the undercover agent is based there.
Simpson used the screen name “Sam Jones” when chatting online with the undercover agent, according to the affidavit.
Sam Jones is also the name of Mobile’s mayor.
A phone message left at Simpson’s home Friday afternoon was not returned by Friday night.
USA spokesman Keith Ayers said the university has suspended Simpson pending the outcome of the case. The university will continue to pay Simpson, but he will not teach any classes until the case is resolved, Ayers said.
The university has taken Simpson’s information off the Mitchell College’s faculty home page.
Ayers said the school does that when teachers are suspended so students expecting to take a class with a specific professor won’t be disappointed when someone else is heading the class.
According to the affidavit, FBI agent George Nau posed as a 13-year-old girl in a Yahoo! chat room.
Simpson sent Nau photos of his penis and of him clothed, according to the affidavit, and asked the undercover agent “would you want me to come see you if I traveled down there (to Miami)?”
At one point, according to the affidavit, the agent asked Simpson how he could know that the pictures of the penis were really Simpson, because his face was not included in those photos.
According to the affidavit, Simpson replied, “You don’t I guess. I didn’t put my face in there because I didn’t want to get in trouble.”
Simpson later said he was chatting with a girl from Georgia whom he believed to be 14 or 15 years old, according to the affidavit. Simpson said she had sent him pictures of herself lifting her shirt and exposing her breasts, and he said he planned on meeting her when she visited Mobile over Thanksgiving break, according to the affidavit.
The undercover agent asked Simpson over the Internet if he planned on having sex with the Georgia girl, and he replied “yep,” according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement officials traced the computer used to conduct the chats to USA and the Yahoo! screen name to the e-mail address email@example.com, according to the affidavit.
Ayers said Simpson got one of his degrees from Auburn.
Authorities showed the clothed pictures of Simpson to USA officials, who identified the individual as Simpson, according to the affidavit.
Simpson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the charges, according to the indictment.
JOIN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE OFFICERS
Get news alerts, officer down, weather emergency news in your mailbox!
FBI ARREST 600 IN CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING STING http://www.privateofficer.com
The FBI announced more than 600 people have been arrested across the nation in a child sex trafficking sting. It is a sting that also touches Nevada, where three juveniles were recovered and dozens of adult pimps, prostitutes and johns were arrested.
It was called Operation Cross Country 2. It began Thursday night and continued all the way through the weekend.
In this latest sting, the FBI says local authorities recovered one juvenile and arrested two male pimps, one john and 47 adult prostitutes. The juvenile was a 17-year-old teenaged girl.
FBI Deputy Director John Pistole says the latest arrests are part of an ongoing effort to crack down on child sex trafficking, “Most importantly, our efforts have lead to the recovery of 575 child victims. Sex trafficking of children remains one of our most violent and unconscionable crimes in this country.”
A spokesman for the local U.S. Attorneys Office says, while the FBI spearheaded the operation, all of the arrests were made by local authorities and, at least in Nevada, do not involve any federal charges.
“Make no mistake, the minors who are interdicted as a part of this operation are victims of the most extreme form of sex trafficking. It sadly remains the case, even now in 2008, that there remain instances of children in the United States manipulated into prostitution by pimps looking to make a fast buck based on the most vulnerable among us,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich.
In Reno, authorities recovered two juveniles in this latest sting. Across the country authorities say at least a dozen large scale prostitution operations were dismantled, including those run through call services, truck stops, casinos and web sites.
JOIN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE OFFICERS
Get news alerts, officer down, weather emergency news in your mailbox!
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. Nov. 3 2007 — A high school teacher and a former city commissioner were among nine men busted in a sex sting at the Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach. Security officers at Sears called police after they witnessed several men engaging in lewd behavior inside a men’s restroom.
What is scary is that these are people that we trust to be political leaders, we trust with our children,” said Chief Michael Chitwood of the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Police received a tip from mall security and the information was confirmed when they read several posts on Craigslist.org. Detectives arrested former Daytona Beach city commissioner Michael Shallow and David Behringer, a teacher at Sea Breeze High School, Thursday.
The arrests came after a 10-hour stakeout of the men’s restrooms at the Sears store in the Volusia Mall. A total of nine men are accused of lewd and lascivious behavior and exposure of a sexual organ.
“This is a clandestine sub-culture event where there are certain signs that we wouldn’t pick up on unless you knew what they were,” Chief Chitwood said.
According to undercover officers, the suspects would go into the bathroom as Sears and tap their feet or zip their zippers up and down several times and even look under bathroom stalls, seeking others to join in sexual misconduct. Police learned the men used the restroom as a place to meet from websites like Craigslist.org.
“There was an incident that occurred on October 29th where security saw this guy doing his business. They kicked the door in and threw him out of Sears. That incident made Craigslist,” Chief Chitwood stated.
Police said two of the nine men arrested were registered sex offenders, including one who was previously caught masturbating in the restroom of a daycare center. All of them were booked into the Volusia County jail with bail set at $1,000.
“We’re coming up on the Christmas season. You’re out there shopping at the mall. Your kid wants to run into the bathroom and you’ve got a bunch of sick perverts that are in there doing their thing,” Chief Chitwood said.
Sea Breeze High School teacher David Behringer resigned Friday after his arrest and the school district accepted his resignation.
Eyewitness News found that the Sears bathroom is not the only store named online for sexual activity. Eyewitness News also found a Macy’s and a JC Penney’s bathroom mentioned. The list goes beyond parks and a few department stores, though. Skydive DeLand, the bathroom at a New Smyrna Beach convenience store and the parking lot at a Home Depot in Port Orange are named as places for men to hook up.
Email comments, questions or news to; firstname.lastname@example.org
Come visit our NEW SECURITY TALK FORUMS!
Visit Us On Line At www.privateofficer.com