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Airman arrested in child exploitation sting

A 33-year-old airman from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, has been arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover law enforcement official posing as a 14 year-old girl, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Allen Vaughn was taken into custody on Oct. 29 and charged with attempting to entice a child, federal court records said.

Vaughn’s current duty title is noncommissioned officer in charge of computer network defense at Patrick, according to the Air Force Personnel Center. He entered active duty in April 2004 and has received the Air Force Achievement Medal.

Vaughn allegedly responded After responding to an ad on Craigslist posted by an undercover Office of Special Investigations OSI agent and , Vaughn allegedly exchanged emails and text messages with the OSI agent, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, court records said. Vaughn allegedly made several graphic sexual overtures and suggested several times that the two meet.

On Oct. 27, Vaughn allegedly spoke by phone with a female police officer who pretended to be the girl, court records said. During the conversation, Vaughn allegedly asked her for sexually exploitative pictures of herself and then allegedly sent her a text message on the following day arranging a meeting, the records said.

Vaughn is being held at the Pinellas County Jail in Florida. His federal public defender, Jenny Devine, could not be reached for comment by deadline.

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