An Ellenton man thought he was texting a 14-year-old girl and planned to meet her for sex, but it was police officers that met him there.
When he tried to meet the girl for sex, Dennis Ferrant, 69, of Ellenton, was arrested on several charges.
According to Bradenton police, from Feb. 1-9, Ferrant was text messaging with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl, who he knows personally.
The girl, feeling uncomfortable after he asked for her number, instead gave him her mother’s cell phone number. Ferrant started sending text messages, under the impression it was to the 14-year-old.
The girl’s mother called police when the messages from Ferrant became inappropriate, according to a news release from Bradenton police. Detectives then took over communications with Ferrant, using undercover text messages.
On Friday, Ferrant solicited the child to engage in sexual activity and set up a place to meet. Police showed up instead. He was arrested without incident when he arrived at the set location, according to police.
During a police interview, Ferrant reportedly admitted to the incident, as well as sending nude photos. He went on to tell investigators he met the girl at a dog park and asked for her number and knew she was 14, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Ferrant was charged with traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity; sexual performance of a child; attempted sexual performance of a child; attempted lewd and lascivious battery; transmission of harmful material to a minor; and certain uses of computer services or devices prohibited, all felony charges.
He was released from the Manatee County jail Saturday after posting a $120,000 bond.
Anyone with information on this case can call Detective Kevin Bunch at (941) 932-9380 or email information to email@example.com. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip at manateecrimestoppers.com.