EGAN, La. (KLFY) — An Egan man is in jail, accused of soliciting a 13-year-old girl for sex online and trying to lure the teen into his truck.
The accused child predator, 45-year-old James Regan, drove from Egan to Oak Grove, Louisiana, to meet the “13-year-old girl.”
Instead of meeting the young girl, he met the undercover officers waiting for him.
In mid-July, Oak Grove police got a tip about Regan from CCUSA, a child victim watch group.
They said Regan was soliciting sex from a juvenile online, so one of Oak Grove’s officers went undercover as a 13-year-old girl, creating a fake profile on a social media website.
Police say Regan immediately took the bait.
“Immediately he went to sending sexually explicit photographs to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl but was actually my police officer,” Oak Grove Police Chief Lewis Russell said.
He says Regan began graphically describing acts he wanted to perform on the “child” and sending sexually explicit videos as well.
“At that point, we had evidence of a crime,” the police chief said.
Oak Grove police issued an arrest warrant for indecent behavior with a juvenile and computer-aided solicitation of a minor.
“Mr. Regan just kept contacting this profile, and he’s 230 miles away from us. We never felt like he would come up here,” Chief Russell told News Ten.
The chief says, however, that’s exactly what he did.
“As part of the investigation, the officer just kept talking with him and just out of the blue he said, ‘I’m coming to get you.’ So we said, ‘Okay, come on,'” he said.
After talking to the “girl” for weeks, he drove from Egan to Oak Grove to meet her on Tuesday, August 10.
“He messaged the undercover profile and said, ‘Look, I’m on my way,'” the chief said. “He actually sent a picture and description of his vehicle and a picture of himself with his clothes, so we knew what to expect.”
“As he got into our jurisdiction, into town here in Oak Grove, he messaged the profile, which was my officer, and said, I’m at Walmart in Oak Grove.”
Undercover officers were there waiting for him, and Regan was promptly arrested.
When officers searched his vehicle, though, they found several disturbing items.
“They had talked about certain foods that she liked and that kind of stuff, and we located those types of items in the truck along with some sexual-related paraphernalia,” Chief Russell said.
Officers also found methamphetamine and a firearm in his vehicle.
Authorities say Regan’s cellphone also had pictures and videos of child pornography. In addition, investigators found a video that contained sexual abuse of an animal with a child.
“These people are out there and if you have children, you need to know if they have electronics and who they are talking to and what their conversation is because there are predators out there trying to prey on our children. We have to do everything that we can to try to protect them,” the chief said.
Regan is now in the West Carroll Parish Jail with no bond.
The watch group CCUSA, who tipped police off about Regan, say they believe he has done this before with juveniles and may have more victims out there.
They are encouraging anyone who may be a victim of Regan to contact them.
Any potential victims can contact CCUA via email at CCUSAoutreach@gmail.com or via their Facebook page.