Fayetteville Firefighter Caught In Online Predator Sting On House Arrest

Scott Royal

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Fayetteville firefighter who tried to meet a teen for sex is free on bond, but a federal judge ordered him to house arrest.

Scott Royal, 37, of Springdale was arrested last week by agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in connection with attempted online enticement of a minor.

Royal posted a $5,000 bond Tuesday (Oct. 1) and was barred from contact with minors outside of supervised visits with his children, according to court documents.

Judge Erin Wiedemann also ordered Royal to turn over his passport and forbade him from using devices with Internet capabilities.

Under the conditions of his release, Royal will remain inside a relative’s home 24 hours a day. He’s only allowed to leave home for “medical necessities,” court appearances or other activities approved by the court.

Royal was caught in a joint operation between HSI and Arkansas State Police targeting online predators during the Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally.

Royal responded earlier this month to a Craiglist ad set up by an Arkansas State Trooper who was posing as an underage girl, according to court documents.

Over a week-long period, Royal used an online alias to exchange more than 100 emails discussing “specific details of performing sexual activities” and arranged a meeting to have sex with the teen.

Royal was arrested when he arrived at the pre-arranged meeting site, according to court documents.

Agents said Royal admitted to using the alias “Jim Bass” to set up the meeting. He also said he was a firefighter at a department in Northwest Arkansas.

Fayetteville Fire Chief Brad Hardin confirmed Royal works at his department. Hardin said an internal investigation into Royal is underway and couldn’t comment further.

HSI is a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that investigates national security issues, including cyber-crime.

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