July 26, 2008

Local Trooper Arrested in Teen Sex Case

By Carlyn Ray Mitchell, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Jul. 26--A trooper working in the local office of the Colorado State Patrol was arrested Friday by Fort Lupton police after he became "sexually aggressive" with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl online.

Police searched the Colorado Springs apartment of Justin Tollman, 22, Friday morning and arrested him on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child and Internet luring of a child after a two-month investigation, said Fort Lupton police Chief Ron Grannis. Tollman is being held in the Weld County Jail in Greeley.

Tollman interacted via a Yahoo profile page with a Fort Lupton police officer he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Police had posted a picture of an officer who Grannis said looks like a teenager when not in uniform.

"He became more and more graphic and sexually aggressive," Grannis said.

Police did not know Tollman was a state trooper until he sent a picture of himself in uniform.

Tollman was placed on paid leave Friday pending an internal investigation, according to Sgt. John Hahn of the state patrol.

Tollman has been assigned to the Springs' office since graduating from the state patrol academy in December 2007.

The arrest is the second Fort Lupton police have made since it began conducting internet sting operations two months ago. Both have been of persons in a position of trust.

Stanley Gantt, a 52-yearold Transportation Security Administration agent at Denver International Airport, was arrested last month on similar charges.

"It is pure coincidence and unfortunate," Grannis said. "I'm disappointed, but I'm pleased that we were able to remove those people from my profession."


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