SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A former postal regulatory executive was allegedly caught on camera during a child sex sting in Downtown, San Diego. People versus Predators (PvP) is a vigilante justice group that recorded the confrontation.
A representative from PvP said that the man in the video is Russell Rappel-Schmid, the Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The PRC oversees the U.S. Postal Service to ensure transparency and accountability.
ABC 10News has blurred the face of the man in the video because federal authorities have not yet confirmed that he is Rappel-Schmid, but the San Diego County Sheriff's Department told ABC 10News that Rappel-Schmid was released from the Central Jail early Tuesday morning after he was arrested on Monday by San Diego Harbor Police for arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes.
According to PvP, Rappel-Schmid was in San Diego for a business conference when he tried to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old boy for sex.
A ".gov" link from the Postal Regulatory Commission from February of 2022 reads that the Commission "welcomes Russell Rappel-Schmid as the agency's first Chief Data Officer..." but when you click on the link, it appears that the press release has been taken down. Other trade publications also reported that he was the agency's new data officer.
The Postal Regulatory Commission released the following statement.
"The Postal Regulatory Commission has become aware of the recent arrest of one of our employees. Upon becoming aware of this information, the Commission has terminated this employee effective immediately. The Commission is shocked and horrified at these serious allegations and maintains a steadfast commitment to promptly deal with any claims of employee misconduct."
Late Tuesday, a spokesperson for the PRC wrote to ABC 10News, "Russ worked at the [Commission] for 5 months. He was in San Diego attending a conference. We were alerted through our Public Affairs and Government Relations inbox which contained complaints from the public that had seen a recently posted video."
The Sheriff's Department stated that his felony arraignment is scheduled for next Monday afternoon.