Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

Pasco middle school teacher charged with enticing teens on Facebook

A teacher at Centennial Middle School in Dade City used Facebook to chat and plan sexual encounters with two underage girls in Belize, authorities say.

David Wendel Thompson, 48, of Seffner was arrested and charged Friday with online enticement of minors, a federal offense.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Thompson had sexually explicit conversations with a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old in February. A cyber crimes unit with Homeland Security received the information about the chats around March 12, the complaint said.

Thompson told one of the girls, "ok we need to start thinking how u can see me," and "i bought my plane ticket today," among other more explicit messages.

Agents also found pictures of the young girls in his account. On Feb. 26, he told one of the girls, "great by the way clear our messages on your computer b4 u go."

On Friday, Thompson checked in for his 4:50 a.m. flight from Tampa International Airport to Belize City, with a layover in Miami. Law enforcement searched his checked bag and found condoms, a drug for erectile dysfunction, two brand new computer tablets and fliers for a hotel in Belize. He was allowed to fly to Belize, where he was refused entry. Authorities arrested him when he got back. The complaint said Thompson has traveled to Belize nine times since June 2011.

Thompson faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, though he can be sentenced up to life in prison.

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