ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- A Basin man is behind bars after police said he tried to pursue a minor online. 27-year-old Anthony Ard has been charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor, a third-degree felony.
According to an arrest affidavit, on April 28, Ard used social media to send messages to a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl as part of an undercover operation aimed at catching online predators. Ard reportedly messaged the undercover detective multiple times throughout the day.
The affidavit stated Ard said he was 27 and asked the presumed child, “Do you like older guys?”. Ard said he was “cool” with meeting up with someone who was 14 “as long as you’re cool and don’t throw me in jail”.
The detective said Ard then asked the “child” if she would be willing to sneak out later that night and meet him. Ard then sent several sexually explicit messages to the presumed teen and arranged to meet in person.
Ard then drove to Odessa from his workplace in Midland where he was arrested; his bond has been set at $30,000, however he remained in jail as of Thursday afternoon on a US Marshal hold. Jail records indicated Ard has been arrested multiple times since 2016 on charges such as forgery, burglary, theft, credit card abuse, and drunk driving.