A man who claimed to be an Adair County Sheriff’s deputy has been booked into jail and faces a felony charge of internet stalking of a child, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s office on Saturday (Dec. 21).
Travis Beard, 23, of Siloam Springs, was taken into custody by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Division, officials said.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office tells 5NEWS that Beard used to work as a jailer for Adair County.
A 10-day undercover investigation by the Cyber Crimes Division in early December led to the arrest, officials said. Authorities said Beard exchanged text messages and photographs with an underage girl.
The Sheriff’s Office said Beard agreed to meet a fictional 15-year old girl on Friday (Dec. 20).
Beard was later arrested by deputies and remains in the Benton County Jail on a $50,000 bond, authorities said.
According to a probable cause report, Beard began interacting with the girl on a social media site. The report also states that Beard identified himself as an employee of the Adair County Sheriff’s Department.
The report also states Beard admitted to investigators he had been text-messaging the underage female. Beard also admitted that there had been sexual content and sent her a photo of his genitalia, the report states.