A Secret Service officer who worked at the White House tried to solicit a minor for sex, according to charging documents.
Lee Robert Moore, 37, of Church Hill, Maryland, admitted chatting to people he thought were 14-year-old girls on the apps Kik and Meet 24, according to charging documents. In at least two cases, he was actually talking to Delaware State Police.
Moore sent explicit photos and chatted about meeting in Delaware to have sex, according to the documents, filed in a Delaware federal court on Thursday.
“Moore made it clear that he knew I was a 14 yr old girl,” Detective Kevin McKay wrote in an affidavit.
He also admitted chatting with the undercover officer while working at the White House, authorities said.
According to a complaint unsealed in federal court Thursday, Moore often engaged in online chats while on duty at the White House, once asking an undercover officer who he thought was a 14-year-old girl to send him something “exciting” on a day when he was checking IDs for a building entrance and complained that “work sucks today.”
“The Secret Service takes allegations of potential criminal activity extremely seriously,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. The Secret Service said Moore's security clearance was suspended on Nov. 6, the same day the matter was reported to its Office of Professional Responsibility.
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Sunday, after being told he was being placed on leave and ordered by the Secret Service to report to a Maryland State Police barracks in Centerville, Moore sent a final message to the undercover trooper.
“I don't think we should talk anymore,” he wrote.
Moore surrendered to authorities in Maryland Monday.
The Secret Service said it learned about the charges Friday and immediately placed Moore on administrative leave and banned him from all Secret Service facilities.
State officials said no attorney is listed as representing Moore.
Moore waived his right to a preliminary hearing without appearing in court Friday in Delaware on state charges of sexual solicitation of a child under 18 and providing obscene material to a person under 18. He is charged separately in federal court with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.
Defense attorney John Barber waived the preliminary hearing after meeting with Moore in a courthouse detention cell, but he declined to comment afterward. Moore's parents spoke with Barber before and after the hearing but declined to comment to a reporter.
Court records show that Moore was released from state custody Tuesday after posting $105,000 secured bail, but he remains in custody on the federal charge. Christina Brigandi, a bail agent, said a third party paid the $10,500 that allowed Moore to be released on bond, but she refused to provide details.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware said a detention hearing for Moore will be held in federal court in Wilmington sometime next week.
The arrest brings new scrutiny to a federal agency already reeling from a series of scandals stretching back to 2012, when more than a dozen agents and officers were implicated in hiring prostitutes during a South American presidential trip. Since then, multiple agents and officers have been accused of wrongdoing. Former agency director Julia Pierson was ousted last year after the disclosure of two security breaches, including an incident in which a man armed with a knife was able to scale a White House fence and run deep into the executive mansion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.