Thursday, November 12, 2015

Yet another Secret Service scandal

Also -

Lee Robert Moore 

A Delaware investigation has resulted in the arrest of a uniformed Secret Service officer accused of sending a picture of his genitals to someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, according to court documents. Some of the communication happened while he was on duty at the White House, authorities said.

Lee Robert Moore, 37, of Church Hill, Maryland, was chatting on a cellphone social media app with an undercover Delaware State Police detective when he sent the naked photo and requested to meet, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Moore was charged in federal court with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, two counts of solicitation of a minor for sex and one count of obscenity material provided to a minor in state court. He is being held in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

Officials in Delaware would not comment on the charges and referred to the criminal complaints.

The complaints obtained by The News Journal show that the investigation began in August when a Delaware State Police detective with the state Child Predator Task Force was on the social media app Meet24 under a profile for a 14-year-old girl from Delaware.

A user, named "Rob," contacted the girl and began chatting with her about what clothes she liked to wear to bed, the complaint said. The detective asked Moore to chat on another app, called Kik, and the two exchanged usernames.

“[Lee Robert] Moore soon moved the chats sexual. He stated he wanted to travel to Delaware and meet in person for sex. Moore made it clear that he knew I was a 14 yr old girl.”
Delaware State Police Detective Kevin McKay writes in the state's affidavit describing the investigation

The Delaware Department of Justice then issued subpoenas to Kik for the IP address related to Moore's profile, the complaint said. The IP address was linked to Moore and his wife in Maryland.

In the following days, the father of two said he wanted to meet with the girl near the Dover Air Force Base and requested that she wear a skirt when they do so, the complaint said. The two continued to chat, turning the conversation to sex, and exchanged photos, according to the complaint.

"Moore soon moved the chats sexual," Delaware State Police Detective Kevin McKay wrote in the state's affidavit describing the investigation. "He stated he wanted to travel to Delaware and meet in person for sex. Moore made it clear that he knew I was a 14 yr old girl."

After Moore became suspicious, a female detective stepped in to chat with him and continued exchanging photos and videos. Some of the chats occurred while he was in his work break room or checking identifications at a building entrance, the complaint said. In one instance, he wrote that "work sucks today," according to the court document.

In a Sept. 24 video, Moore can be seen in "what appears to be a small room wearing what appears to be a tactical vest and a baseball-style hat with sunglasses" and stated in the chat "that he was on break and had to go relieve someone," according to the complaint.

On Oct. 6, he sent a photo of his genitals and attempted to convince the teen to send pictures of herself in panties, the complaint said.

Moore, who served in the military, was informed on Nov. 6 by the Secret Service that he was being placed on administrative leave. He was instructed to report to the Maryland State Police barracks in Centerville, Maryland, at 8 a.m. on Monday.

The day before he turned himself in, Moore sent a message on Kik to the girl saying, "I don't think we should talk anymore. I can't explain, but I have too much going on, and I need to pull away from talking to people online altogether. This will be my last message. I'm sorry, but I won't be on kick or meet 24 again," according to the complaint.

He then reported to the barracks, where he was arrested.

“In particular, Moore stated that he had a sexual interest in 14-year-old females and had engaged such individuals in online chats about sexual matters.”
Criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware

During an interview at the barracks, he admitted to talking to what he believed was a 14-year-old girl and to communicating with several other users who he believed were teen girls, the complaint said.

"In particular, Moore stated that he had a sexual interest in 14-year-old females and had engaged such individuals in online chats about sexual matters," the complaint said.

Moore does not have a listed telephone number. Court documents do not list a lawyer for him.

The complaint was filed Thursday in federal court in Wilmington.

Delaware's Child Predator Task Force was created eight years ago by late Attorney General Beau Biden. The task force, which tracks predators lurking online, reached a milestone of 200 convictions in August 2014.

In conjunction with the task force, Biden worked with the General Assembly in 2007 to enact tough new mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of possessing child pornography.

About 1,300 officers work for the Uniformed Division, which patrols the White House complex and Naval Observatory, the official residence of Vice President Joe Biden. It was not immediately clear how long Moore had been in the position.

The allegations come after a long list of blunders by the agency over the past few years, including agents partying during downtime in foreign countries and crashing into a security barrier while allegedly driving drunken in Washington, D.C.

In another instance, an armed mentally troubled Iraq war veteran scaled the White House fence and gained access to the mansion following failures on multiple levels by the security organization. Another included a security contractor armed with a gun and with record of prior assault convictions who managed to get on an elevator with President Barack Obama during a September 2014 trip to Atlanta.

Moore has been placed on administrative leave, said Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor. In a statement, she said Moore's security clearance was suspended on Nov. 6, after the incident was reported to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility. All agency-issued equipment was retrieved, "and the employee’s access to all Secret Service facilities was terminated," she said.

Said Mainor: "The Secret Service takes allegations of potential criminal activity extremely seriously."

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