BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A 30-year veteran deputy with the Boulder County Sheriff’s office faces charges of Internet luring of children.
Rick Ferguson is accused of having sexually explicit communication with underage girls and using the computer in his cruiser while on duty to send those messages.
“We found that with his mobile data computer there was at least about 8 hours of chat during the work period,” Cmdr. Scot Williams with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department said. “That led us to a search warrant of his residence and his home computers, which led us to believe he’s been doing it for about 6 months.”
It was the information-technology staff that first raised a red flag about 2 weeks ago. It monitors all of Boulder County’s computers, and Ferguson was of aware of it.
Williams stopped short of saying Ferguson confessed.
“He feels like he’s let people down. He’s let his team down, he’s let his family down,” Williams said.
Investigators say, so far, they have only uncovered allegations of inappropriate Internet activity and no reports of sexual contact. They won’t say how many girls Ferguson contacted, only that he requested nude photos.
“At this point there are no indications that he was trying to set up any meetings or had met with anybody,” Williams said.
“It’s a sad and demoralizing day when we have to arrest one of our own deputies,” Sheriff Joe Pelle said in a prepared statement.
“We were shocked to learn what was occurring, but also quick and decisive to investigate and seek prosecution. We are a ‘Character First’ organization, and the alleged actions of this deputy have violated our core values and the public trust. They do not represent the values of the almost 400 employees at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.”
Pelle promised his department would handle the case with “accountability and openness.”
Ferguson had worked in patrol, the detective division and SWAT. Most everybody in the department knows him. Deputies wanted Ferguson moved out of Boulder. Tuesday afternoon he was transferred to the Broomfield jail.
The investigation is ongoing and Williams said the department is reeling.
“We’re mad, we’re sad and very disappointed,” Williams said.
Ferguson is married with two children. His bond is set at $100,000.