FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Fayetteville firefighter is accused of trying to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Scott Royal, 37, of Springdale was arrested Tuesday (Sept. 24) by agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in connection with attempted online enticement of a minor.
Royal was caught in a joint operation between HSI and Arkansas State Police targeting online predators during the Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally.
Royal responded earlier this month to a Craiglist ad set up by an Arkansas State Trooper who was posing as an underage girl, according to court documents.
Over a week-long period, Royal used an online alias to exchange more than 100 emails discussing "specific details of performing sexual activities" and arranged a meeting to have sex with the teen.
Royal was arrested when he arrived at the pre-arranged meeting site, according to court documents.
Agents said Royal admitted to using the alias "Jim Bass" to set up the meeting. He also said he was a firefighter at a department in Northwest Arkansas.
Fayetteville Fire Chief Brad Hardin confirmed Royal works at his department. Hardin said an internal investigation into Royal is underway and couldn't comment further.
Royal was being held Friday (Sept. 27) at the Washington County Detention Center with no bond set and a hold for federal court.
He has a detention hearing Tuesday (Oct. 1) in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville.
HSI is a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that investigates national security issues, including cyber-crime.