Alabama Man Arrested for Online Soliciting a Minor

This is the best and most rewarding piece of police work I have ever done. The article is fairly accurate and the interdiction was a fluke that turned into a huge investigative milestone…

Alabama man arrested for online soliciting
BY DANNY GALLAGHER, McKinney Courier-Gazette
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:14 AM CST
A McKinney police officer discovered a man during a traffic stop last Saturday who allegedly met a McKinney teenager online and traveled all the way from Alabama to visit him.

The officer arrested Michael Daniel Blackman, 26, of Fort Rucker, Ala., and charged him with a third-degree felony count of online solicitation of a minor to meet with the intent of sexual contact, according to Collin County Detention Center records.

McKinney police Cpl. Chris Grollnek stopped Blackman’s vehicle at 5:48 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of North Central Expressway after his vehicle drove the wrong way down a one-way street. Grollnek approached the driver of the vehicle, and discovered he had a 14-year-old male sitting in the passenger seat, said McKinney police Capt. Randy Roland.

Grollnek began questioning both the driver and the passenger. Roland said the passenger’s story did not match Blackman’s story. Grollnek eventually learned through their conversations that Blackman met the child online and the two were staying together at a nearby hotel, Roland said.

The officer searched Blackman’s vehicle and discovered a box of condoms in a backpack in the trunk.

They also learned Blackman was not related to the teenager in the passenger seat, Roland said. He said they also seized a laptop computer found in Blackman’s vehicle for further investigation.

As of Tuesday, he remained in Collin County Detention Center on $5,000 bond, according to jail records.

“This is, I think, some outstanding police work because there was no question what’s going on and he (Grollnek) realized immediately the stories didn’t add up and obviously the kid wanted to go with this guy and he shouldn’t have and the driver shouldn’t have wanted to do what he was doing,” Roland said. “The smell test didn’t smell right and he dug deeper into his investigation and prevented an assault.” Blackman’s court-appointed attorney, Dawn Hedlund, of Frisco, said she had not yet spoken with her client as of presstime Tuesday and could not comment on his case.

Jennifer Lee, a project specialist in the exploited child division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children based in Alexandria, Va., said parents need to take an active part in monitoring what their children are doing on the Internet and with whom they are communicating.

“The very first thing parents can do is get educated themselves in terms of the Internet, technology and specifically what kids are doing, whether it’s social networking sites, online gaming and just become aware of where children are spending time online,” she said.

The NCMEC runs Netsmartz.org and Netsmartz411.org, sites that provide interactive education and awareness resources on online safety, Lee said.

Parents need to take a more hands-on approach in monitoring and educating their children about online activities so their children will know what to do on their own, Lee said.

“There is a lot of great stuff like blocking and filtering programs, but the bottom line is at some point, a child will be able to find a computer whether it’s at a friend’s house or an Internet caf/ where there is no blocking or filtering and the child has to be able to make the decision on their own,” Lee said. “That’s why education is the biggest battle we have in this fight. The more knowledge they have, the harder it’s going to be for these guys to get them.”

Contact Danny Gallagher at dgallagher@acnpapers.com. To post comments online, access this story on the Web at www.scntx.com.

About Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Training and Domestic Terrorism Prevention Expert PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: Chris Grollnek is a dynamic Public Speaker and forward-thinking Director of Security Prevention Standards and Programs. Interview and Investigation specialist with a record of success at the Executive and National level for Leadership and Management efficiencies regarding Policy and the Curriculum Development for Terrorism related Prevention. Complete understanding of government and corporate contracting and investigative programs to enhance corporate standards of policy implementation. An architect of efficiencies with a results-oriented pattern of success in investigative techniques, security, safety, sales leadership, and interviewing while leading teams and establishing best practices. A well-versed public speaker, freelance television contributor, and radio news commentator. Experience in testifying before serval governmental bodies, including The United States Congressional bodies of the House and Senate committees regarding Terrorism Prevention, Response, and Training Initiatives.
This entry was posted in Chris Grollnek Blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.