A Florida deputy with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has been arrested for allegedly attempting to lure a young girl into sexual abuse. He was fired over the allegation.
Cansas Sadler Jr., 41, is charged in his home county with using a computer to solicit a child while misrepresenting age, using a computer to solicit a child, and using a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony, according to his former employer. He’s also being charged for transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device in Polk County.
“I’m always disheartened when someone sworn to serve and protect commits any crime, much less crimes of this nature,” said Okaloosa Sheriff Larry Ashley in a statement. “It’s an affront to all the hard-working, dedicated law enforcement officers who work tirelessly each day to keep our citizens safe. I want to thank our investigators and their counterparts from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. As Okaloosa County Sheriff, I greatly appreciate their teamwork and professionalism in working to develop the evidence, arrest, and hold the suspect accountable.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd went through the details in a press conference Thursday. He said that Sadler–the father of an 11-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl–had recently joined the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office after time as an U.S. Army Ranger and trainer, and had been working as a new deputy on a probationary basis.
According to authorities, the defendant contacted the 9-year-old through a gaming app called “the Wolf.” The alleged victim was pretending to be 11, said Judd. Sadler allegedly posed as a girl named “Jade,” also 11.
The defendant groomed his target to prepare her for sexual abuse, said authorities. “Jade” claimed to have been having sex with her dad’s friend “Jason,” and Jason wanted to have sex with the 9-year-old, according to this account. This situation allegedly progressed to “Jason” (read: Sadler) exchanging nude photos with the child.
The girl’s family put a stop to this, according to Judd. Her old sister discovered that the child was communicating with an adult man, and told their mom about it. Mom started looking through the 9-year-old’s phone when there was a call, said Judd. Guess who was allegedly on the other end: It was “Jason.” The mother called Polk County deputies. They looked into this, then contacted their Okaloosa counterparts.
Judd suggested that there may be more victims: “But I can tell you, you don’t arrive at the age of 41 and do this for the first time. He didn’t just happen to be on a gaming site grooming a nine-year-old child–and that’s what he did.”
It’s unclear if Sadler has an attorney in this matter.
[Mugshot via Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office]