Maryland State Police (MSP) have arrested a Harford County man on child solicitation charges.
Officials said that Fred Packard, 73, of Havre de Grace, Maryland, solicited sex from an undercover trooper who was posing as a child over the Internet in Cecil County.
Packard is charged with one count of sexual solicitation of a minor. He was arrested on February 26, 2021, and taken to the MSP North East Barrack for processing.
According to a preliminary investigation, a trooper with the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit in December was monitoring an online dating application while posing as a 14-year-old male. Packard initiated an online conversation with the goal of soliciting a sexual encounter with the minor, according to police.
Trooper said the suspect suggested meeting with the 14-year-old, whom he thought was a minor, on February 26, 2021, in North East, Maryland. Police said according to a preliminary investigation, Packard arrived at that location at about 1:45 p.m. Maryland State Police arrested the suspect at the scene.
The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This is a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across Maryland that is made possible in part due to grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services and by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Taskforce investigators focus on identifying those involved in child pornography via the Internet and other related crimes that victimize children.