State

A deputy thought he was chatting on Facebook with a prostitute. He wasn’t, cops say

Patrick Dean
Patrick Dean Putnam County Sheriff’s Office

They chatted on Facebook, and he agreed to pay her $75 and meet at a Circle K Tuesday in Jacksonville, according to Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

When Patrick Dean arrived at the store on State Road 20, he reportedly messaged the “woman” to tell her he was there and “waiting.”

But the “woman” on the Facebook chat was one of several undercover detectives in a sting operation.

When Dean arrived, the deputies busted him on a charge of solicitation.

Dean, however, was one of their own. He is a corrections officer and has worked for the Sheriff’s Office on and off since 1990, reports First Coast News.

The 56 year old was taken to the Putnam County Jail and released on $500 bond a short time later.

“All allegations of crime are taken seriously in Putnam County and this is especially true when the allegation involves a Deputy Sheriff,” Sheriff Gator DeLoach said in a statement. “To make a difference in our community, we must earn the public trust and Dean’s incomprehensible actions do nothing but erode that trust.”

As of Wednesday evening, the law enforcement veteran had been placed on administrative leave and stripped of his badge.

“I look forward to the speedy completion of the required internal investigation,” added DeLoach. “If these allegations are sustained, I look forward to ridding the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office of this individual that does not deserve to wear our star.”

“He had been conversing by text message and online on Facebook with our undercover detectives,” said DeLoach. “I don’t think this will come as a surprise to a lot of our employees.”

Dean has been the subject of five internal investigations overall starting in 1992 when he was accused of improper handling of an inmate. But he was later cleared.

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