Clayton cop arrested in child predator sting
By Daniel Silliman
A Clayton County Police officer was arrested while on-duty, on federal charges he used the Internet to entice a child to have sex.
Casey Carmichael, a 28-year-old officer with the department for one and a half years, was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents at 2 p.m., Sunday, at Clayton County Police headquarters.
Carmichael had been under investigation for two weeks, Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said, after an Internet crimes investigator in Mississippi reported the officer was engaging in explicit, sexual conversations with what he believed to be an underage girl.
Undercover agents with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children task force, posing as a young girl in a chat room, had multiple conversations with the officer, talking "about sexual acts," according to Turner.
Carmichael connected a web cam to his department-issued lap top, and performed lewd acts in front of the camera, while wearing the Clayton County Police uniform, according to GBI Spokeswoman Sandra Putnam.
"Unfortunately," she said, "this type of particular crime is not limited to a certain group."
Carmichael faces a possible sentence of 10 years in federal prison, if convicted of enticement.
The police chief spoke with Carmichael, at the time of arrested, and told him he was disappointed and appalled. "I told him, 'You are not above the law,'" Turner said.
To join the police department, Carmichael had to have a clean criminal record and had to pass a four- or five-hour psychological examination. That system has been pretty effective, but isn't perfect, Turner said.
The 28-year-old, originally from Tennessee, passed the psychological examination and had not previously had any complaints against him regarding children or Internet issues.
"He seemed to be an average officer," Turner said. "Nothing out of the ordinary."
The chief said that Carmichael's alleged actions undermine public confidence in the police department, and he hopes people realize the officer is just one individual.
"There are child predators within every profession, in every race and in every social and economic class," Turner said. "Ninety-nine percent of the officers in this department are law abiding citizens with the best interests of the community at heart."
Turner promised the department would always give its full cooperation to state and federal law enforcement agencies.