An ordained minister and honorably discharged Marine was arrested early Saturday morning for violation of the state's computer crimes act, according to Ottawa County Undersheriff Bob Ernst.
Eric David Tinney, 31, of Grove, was taken into custody at a Miami residence where he had made arrangements to meet with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy he met earlier that day on the Internet.
Sheriff Terry Durborow said his office is an affiliate member of the nationwide Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and, as a part of the task force, some deputies are authorized to log onto the Internet and present themselves as minor children.
Ernst said Tinney made contact with him through an Internet chat window on a Web site for homosexuals.
Tinney used the screen name “Erict,” according to Ernst.
“‘Erict' advised me he was from Grove and I advised Erict I was a 14-year-old boy from Miami,” Ernst said. “Erict then advised me he was reporting me for being underage on the Web site and the conversation was terminated.”
Ernst said approximately two or three minutes later he was contacted again by “Erict” who stated “You could be Dateline and how would I know any different?”
“I asked ‘Erict' if he wanted to talk to me or not and if he was still reporting me,” Ernst said. “Erict advised he was sorry and was not reporting me.”
Ernst said the conversation moved from the chat room to Yahoo Messenger, where the two engaged in a conversation that was of a sexual nature.
During the conversation, Tinney allegedly made lewd or indecent proposals to the person he thought was a minor child, according to a statement released by the sheriff's office.
After asking what time the boy's mother would be home, Tinney made arrangements to go to the boy's home.
“At approximately midnight, a tan Honda pulled up into the front of the residence and a white male, matching the description of ‘Erict's' profile, walked up to the front door of the residence and knocked,” Ernst said. “I answered the door and placed a male subject who was later identified as Eric Tinney under arrest.”
Durborow said that, when deputies searched Tinney's vehicle, they located Marijuana and condoms.
Tinney is being held in the Ottawa County Jail where he faces the anticipated charges of making lewd or indecent proposals or acts to a minor child, violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act and possession of marijuana.
According to authorities, Tinney is an ordained minister, credentialed in Delaware County. He was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1998 and has worked for several Grove Internet and wireless communications companies.