Police from State Crime Command's Sex Crimes Squad have arrested a 34-year-old Armidale man for alleged child grooming and other offences.
Earlier this year, detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad's Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) were contacted by staff from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States. NCMEC staff were concerned about a man who was allegedly engaging in online discussions about the sexual abuse of children.
After consulting with their NCMEC counterparts, CEIU detectives, assuming the online identity of a 13-year-old girl, engaged a man in online conversation.
During the conversations, police allege the man made a number of sexually explicit and inappropriate comments, before arranging to meet a person, who he believed was a 13-year-old girl, for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Shortly after 11.30am yesterday, detectives arrested a 34-year-old man at a pre-determined location in Armidale.
A search warrant was subsequently executed at the man’s home in Armidale, where investigators seized computers, a quantity of cannabis, a set of nunchakus and electronic storage devices before taking the man to Armidale Police Station.
The man was subsequently charged with using a carriage service to procure persons under 16 years of age, possess prohibited drug and possess prohibited weapon.
He has been granted strict conditional bail to appear at Armidale Local Court on 11 August 2014.
Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the Child Exploitation Internet Unit and police in NSW work closely with their law enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.
Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/.