A Secret Service officer turned himself in this week after he was caught sexting while on-duty inside the White House. Unbeknownst to the sexually deviant federal officer, the 14-year-old girl that he sent naked photos to was actually an undercover cop.
On August 24, a Delaware State Police detective created an account on the app Meet24, which matches users based on their phone’s GPS. While posing as a 14-year-old girl from the Hazlett, Delaware area, the detective received a chat from Secret Service Officer Lee Robert Moore, 37, asking the fictitious teen what clothes she liked to wear in bed. According to the criminal complaint against Moore, the detective asked him to move the chat to another app called Kik, where they exchanged usernames.
As the Delaware Department of Justice issued a subpoena to Kik for the IP address under Moore’s username, the married father of two asked to meet the teen at a park near Dover Air Force Base and requested that she wear a skirt. Although they did not meet, the law enforcement officers continued to chat and exchange photos online. The DOJ eventually traced the IP address back to Moore and his wife in Maryland.
“Moore soon moved the chats sexual,” Delaware State Police Detective Kevin McKay wrote in the state’s affidavit describing the investigation. “He stated he wanted to travel to Delaware and meet in person for sex. Moore made it clear that he knew I was a 14 yr old girl.”
On August 31, Moore began asking the undercover cop about graphic details of her sexual experiences and wrote, “May seem like a small thing in the grand scheme, but I would take immense pleasure in pulling those shorts off your hips and down your cute little legs. Be exciting to try I mean id be nervous but still be fun. Just wouldn’t want to bore u.”
The next day, Moore contacted the detective on Meet24 and admitted to deleting his Kik account. The Secret Service officer wrote, “Do you know how many fake female profiles are out there, a guy needs some reassurance that he is talking to who he thinks he is talking to, and not, I shudder to think.”
As Moore started to become suspicious, a female Delaware State Trooper began assuming the online role of the fictional 14-year-old girl. When Moore asked her to send a video of herself on September 24, the undercover cop sent a video of a teenage girl holding a small cat near her face. In response, Moore sent a video of himself sitting in a room in the White House wearing a tactical vest, baseball cap, and sunglasses and stated in the chat “that he was on break and had to go relieve someone.”
Working in the uniformed division of the Secret Service, Moore sent some of his texts while working mere steps away from the Oval Office during breaks. In his chats, Moore described his job as sitting in a booth checking IDs for entrance into the White House. On October 6, he sent a photo of his erect penis and attempted to coax the teen into sending pictures of her wearing panties.
After the Delaware State Police spent 10 weeks accumulating incriminating evidence against Moore, the Secret Service placed him on administrative leave on November 6. Forced to turn in his badge and gun, Moore agreed to turn himself in to the Maryland State Police on Monday morning. Hours before surrendering himself, Moore contacted the 14-year-old girl again.
“I don’t think we should talk anymore,” he wrote to her online. “I can’t explain, but I have too much going on, and I need to pull away from talking to people online altogether. This will be my last message. I’m sorry, but I won’t be on kick or meet 24 again.”
The Secret Service never bothered to tell Moore that he had been in contact with a series of undercover cops instead of a minor. After turning himself in and waiving his Miranda rights, Moore confessed he has a sexual interest in 14-year-old girls and has made several attempts to contact girls online with the intent of having sex with them. He was charged in federal court with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years, along with two counts of solicitation of a minor for sex and one count of obscenity material provided to a minor in state court.
The officer’s arrest is merely the latest example in a series of scandals and misconduct involving the Secret Service. Last month, two Secret Service agents were found asleep at their posts. In June, a Secret Service agent was suspended for sexting a woman while working security for the First Lady.
In April, the Secret Service leaked a copy of House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s rejected application to the agency in retaliation against the Chairman. During a March 24 House hearing, Rep. Chaffetz reprimanded Director Joseph Clancy and the agency after two Secret Service agents were caught on surveillance video driving drunk into an active bomb investigation. In March, a Secret Service manager was put on leave with his security clearance suspended after a female employee accused him of sexually assaulting her at agency headquarters.
On October 1, 2014, former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned after lying to congressional members regarding her failure to disclose all security breaches to President Obama. On September 19, 2014, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez leapt over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and broke into the White House equipped with a three-inch serrated knife. During a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention three days earlier, President Obama entered an elevator accompanied by an armed private contractor with three convictions for assault and battery.
In May 2013, Secret Service supervisor Ignacio Zamora left a bullet in a woman’s hotel room and attempted to force his way back into the room to retrieve it. In March 2013, three members of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team were placed on paid administrative leave after one of them was found passed out drunk in a hallway by hotel staff in Amsterdam. Days before President Obama’s arrival to the international summit in Cartagena in 2012, multiple Secret Service and DEA agents were caught purchasing prostitutes in Colombia.