An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for a 58-year-old Pennsylvania man caught in an online child predator sting conducted by the Lawton Police Department.
Following a string of messenger conversations, investigators learned he’d been checking flight and hotel options in Lawton to meet.
The felony arrest warrant was issued for Jeffrey Allan Ballard, of Hanover, Pa., for a count of lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16, records indicate. The crime is punishable by between three to 20 years in prison.
Investigators began an undercover chat operation on March 3 through the KIK mobile app used for instant messaging. A detective under a fictitious identity of a 15-year-old entered a private chat called “trucker (expletive) global” and began general conversations with other members, the warrant affidavit states.
That’s when a user with the screen name “Daddy’s Whore” entered the conversation. During the messaging, the screen name changed to “Daddy’s Slut” and began asking general questions about interests as well as advice about giving out personal information, the affidavit states. The conversation began to turn as the screen user, later identified as Ballard, turned the conversation toward sexual attraction while knowing the persona was a teen, according to police.
The chatting continued for several months and Ballard is accused of sending photos of sex toys and undercover links to gay porn, the affidavit states. The persona and Ballard also discussed meeting in person and Ballard is accused of saying he’d checked out several flight and hotel options to meet.
A $250,000 cash warrant bond was issued upon Ballard’s arrest.