Tuesday, April 4, 2006

A Homeland Security deputy press secretary was arrested last night at his Silver Spring home on charges he used the Internet to solicit sex from a 14-year-old girl.

Brian J. Doyle, 55, of Silver Spring, was arrested on charges out of Polk County, Fla., shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday. Officials say he used a computer to seduce a child and shared materials harmful to a minor through explicit conversations and pornographic movie clips.

The girl, however, was an undercover Polk County Sheriff’s computer crimes detective.

“We take these allegations very seriously, and we will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation,” said William Knocke, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department.

Mr. Doyle revealed his identity to the undercover officer as well as his government and cell-phone numbers. Reports say that Mr. Doyle asked the undercover officer to perform sexual acts and that he described explicit sexual activities he wanted to engage in with her.

Mr. Doyle will be placed on administrative leave today pending an investigation and may be extradited to Florida to face charges.

Mr. Knocke declined to comment further on the charges or say how long Mr. Doyle has been under investigation by the sheriff’s office, by the Florida State Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

He faces 23 charges of using a computer to “seduce a child,” according to a statement by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

“In addition to their online chatting, Doyle used the Internet to send hard-core pornographic movie clips to the ‘girl’ and used the AOL Instant Messenger chat service to have explicit sexual conversations with her,” the police report said.

Law-enforcement officials also served a search warrant at his residence, during which they seized his home computer and other materials relative to this case.

“We will go after child predators, no matter where they live, to protect our innocent children,” says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

c This article is based in part of wire service reports.

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