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San Diego sheriff veteran on administrative duty following allegation of trying to lure minor

Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 21:11:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A veteran of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department is on desk duty after a vigilante group accused him of trying to solicit minors for sex.

Monday morning, a sheriff's department spokesperson issued the following statement:

"We just learned of these allegations the evening of Friday, March 11 and we took immediate action that night. We have opened up an internal investigation into the allegations. He has been with the department for 25 years and has been a sergeant for about a year. He was working at San Diego Central Jail but is now on administrative assignment pending the outcome of the investigation. We take these allegations very seriously and will do a thorough investigation into the matter. "

The statement included the sergeant's name, but ABC10News is not identifying him because he is not under arrest.

The department learned about the allegations after the group, People v. Preds, posted a video on social media allegedly exposing the sergeant in a "To Catch A Predator" style sting.

According to a social media profile, the group says, "we catch online preds that prey on children. We do not condone violence."

David Shapiro, a criminal defense attorney, said law enforcement can treat these stings as a citizen's tip.

"It may lead to search warrants of computers, of phones, of search histories," Shapiro said.

The group claims the sergeant tried to meet with who he believed was a 15-year-old boy for sex.

Instead, it was members posing as minors.

"I think the fact that it's not a live minor, it's not a live teenager who's talking to this individual behind his parents' back is a positive thing for the sergeant," Shapiro said.

Shapiro said the law enforcement veteran could still face felony charges.

"Bottom line is it's the intent of the sergeant, it's what his intent was, who he believed he was meeting," said Shapiro.

The department has not said whether a criminal investigation is also underway.