MARGATE — A South Florida police agency has fired an officer who was accused of seeking explicit pictures of a young girl.
Margate Chief Jonathan Shaw wrote in Officer Andrew Hammock’s termination letter that he brought “shame” and “dishonor” to the department he had worked for since 2002. His termination followed an internal investigation of the allegations.
Hammock was arrested last March during a federal crackdown on child sexual exploitation when he solicited pictures from an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a girl, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.
“I am greatly disappointed and deeply concerned by your behavior,” Chief Jonathan Shaw wrote. “I intend to hold you accountable for your conduct. Your actions in this instance are extremely egregious and will not be tolerated at any level of the organization.”
Hammock’s civil defense attorney, Michael Braverman, did not comment Wednesday.
Federal documents show an undercover FBI agent answered a social media posting from “Playful_guy,” which stated, he felt “like peeking and being peeked at by a younger girl.” The agent then pretended to be a 14-year-old girl and communicated with Hammock.
According to a criminal complaint, Hammock told the agent who was posing as a girl that any pictures she shared would be confidential. He also urged her to send pictures of “in between” outfit changes, the criminal complaint said.
“You are perfect and exactly my dream girl,” he told her, the newspaper reported.
“Just be more open minded,” he urged. “If you’re willing to be seen half naked at beach, don’t be afraid to let me see a little of you.”
Hammock faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison, followed by a potential life term of supervised release. His trial is scheduled for April.