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Tyndall colonel arrested for allegedly soliciting underage sex

A colonel at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida was arrested Monday for allegedly soliciting sex online from a police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy.

Col. Michael Shawn Garrett, 44, has been charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex, solicitation of a minor for sex, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, the Panama City Beach Police Department announced on its Facebook page. The police said that Garrett was being held at Bay County Jail awaiting his first appearance.

In the post, police said Garrett "described in detail his sexual interest with the child and insisted on meeting in person" during his online conversations with the undercover officer. He drove to a location he believed was the child's home and was arrested without incident, police said.

Garrett, a Florida Air National Guardsman, is the chief of combat operations for the 101st Air Operations Group, Maj. Andrew Scott, a spokesman for the 101st, said on Tuesday. Scott said the 601st Air Operations Center, which oversees the 101st, is taking appropriate action, but could not say if Garrett has been removed from his position. Garrett is still in the Air National Guard, Scott said, but "further comment is inappropriate at this time."

Lt. J.R. Talamantes of the Panama City Beach Police Department, who is leading the investigation into Garrett, said it does not appear Garrett used Air Force computers to talk to the undercover officer.

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