Missouri Man Stung By Feds After He Sexted Undercover Agent Posing As A 14-Year-Old Boy On Gay Porn App
CHRISTIANSTED — A Missouri man was arrested in a federal sting operation using a gay porn phone application after he sexted an undercover agent he thought was a 14-year-old boy, authorities said.
Roger Black, 48, now a resident of St. Croix, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon for an initial court appearance on Friday after his arrest by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents on a charge of coercion and enticement.
According to court documents, on August 12, HSI began a law enforcement operation designed to target and identify adults who want to make contact with and engage in sexual activity with minors.
Agents working in an undercover capacity, created fake teenage personas in online forums and applications designed to initiate interactions between federal agents and sexual predators.
On August 15, 2019, Black initiated contact with an undercover agent on the application Grindr by sending a picture of his naked torso and another of his genitals.
A dialogue ensued online during which the undercover agent falsely stated that he was a 14-year-old boy. Later, Black discussed the sexual activity that he wished to participate in with the undercover agent, whom he thought was a teenage boy.
A meeting was set up for Friday (August 16, 2019) at which time Black was arrested.
Black is a wanted sex offender from Missouri and also has an outstanding parole violation warrant from Georgia.
Upon request of the government, Black was ordered detained with a full detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday, according to Shappert.
Grindr, an Android phone application, bills itself as “the world’s largest all-male, location-based social network.” It offers a social media service called “gay guy finder.”
Though based in West Hollywood, California, the Grindr app is actually owned by Chinese gaming giant Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, Ltd., which acquired a majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million before purchasing the rest of it last year.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston.
Shappert said that a criminal arrest warrant is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.
“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” she said.