WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – An Okaloosa County deputy has gone from a man in a position of trust to an inmate at the county jail after he was accused of exchanging pornographic images with a 9-year old girl in Polk County.
Cansas Sadler Jr., 41, was arrested by Okaloosa County officials on Wednesday in Shalimar, Fla.
He was charged with crimes in both Okaloosa and Polk Counties, including seven counts of Transmitting Material Harmful to a Minor.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office terminated Sadler after his arrest.
According to PCSO, Sadler, who has daughters and is a retired army ranger, started messaging with the Winter Haven girl on the interactive gaming app “The Wolf.”
He said he was an 11-year old girl named “Jade.” At other times, he referred to himself as Jade’s father’s friend, “Jason,” officials said.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, after some grooming, Sadler convinced the girl to exchange sexually explicit messages and pornographic images with him.
“He educated her and sent her pictures that a 9-year old little girl should never see. Talked this little 9 year old girl into taking pictures of herself. This is a bad man,” said Sheriff Judd.
The messages were exchanged between June 8 – June 9, officials said.
It ended, Sheriff Grady said, when the girl’s older sister notified her mother. Sadler called the girl’s phone and her mother answered.
“Of course mama just has an absolute total meltdown, says lots of things to him, none of which were nice and then says that ‘I’m calling the cops’,” said Sheriff Judd.
Sadler joined the OCSO in July 2018 after retiring from the U.S. Army and was still on new-hire probationary status, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m always disheartened when someone sworn to serve and protect commits any crime, much less crimes of this nature,” said Sadler’s former boss Okaloosa Sheriff Larry Ashley. “It’s an affront to all the hard-working, dedicated law enforcement officers who work tirelessly each day to keep our citizens safe.”
This case serves as a reminder to always monitor what your kids are doing online.
“If you’re not watching every second of every day, there’s another child predator like this looking for your little boy or your little girl,” said Sheriff Judd.