Online Sex Sting Operation Involving West Richland Man UpdatePosted: Updated:
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - Luring a child for sex on the Internet is an unbelievable crime but what about when the child's parent is involved.
A West Richland man, 45-year-old David Burks was arrested April 24th in Florida after allegedly being caught in an undercover sex sting operation.
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Detective Neil Spector was one of main detectives on the case. He said this type of online activity happens more than people might realize.
A warrant affidavit details the horrific online conversations Burks allegedly had with someone whom he thought was another father.
Spector said Burks was actually communicating with Florida Authorities.
According to the official documents Burks suggests have sex with the man's 11-year-old daughter. The conversations were all done in an America Online chat room called Open Minded Parents.
In late April Burks was on a business trip in Florida and apparently tried to meet up with the dad and his young daughter, but instead he was contacted by police in his Florida hotel.
Spector said Burks not only solicited sex from a child on the Internet, but he told police what hotel he was in, contacted them once he arrived in Florida said he was ready to meet up.
Spector said, "It's kind of disturbing."
Spector has arrested hundreds of online predators. He said it's the unthinkable crime, parents letting others use their children for sex. He says it happens more than people realize.
Spector said, "They communicate about having sex with children and trade child porn."
West Richland Police searched Burks home in West rRchland. They took two computers, looking for evidence of other criminal behavior.
West Richland Police Detective Theresa Morrell said there might be important information on those computers. She said, "I'm just covering all the bases to make sure there is nothing we are missing."
Spector said online child predators are addicted the behavior. He said, "It's their addiction is like an alcoholics drive for a beer. For these types of offenders it's their drive to have sex with children."
In 1998 the Department of Justice developed 11 task force groups to protect kids online. Today there are more than 40.
Spector said, "We use to say don't talk to a stranger. Now we have to worry about them being in our homes because of the computer."
Formal charges for David Burks are expected to be filed sometime next week. The U.S. Attorney's office is looking at the case and considering federal charges.