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Published April 27 2011

UPDATED: Fargo man arrested in Internet luring sting

FARGO – Police say an Internet luring sting resulted in the arrest Tuesday of a 54-year-old Fargo man who had arranged to meet who he believed was a girl under age 15 for sex.

An undercover police detective posing as the girl online arranged to meet the man in the West Acres mall parking lot, Lt. Joel Vettel said. When the man arrived at about 6:30 p.m., he was met by several armed officers, Vettel said.

Daniel Lee Thomas of 2833 Parkview Drive S. was arrested without incident, Vettel said. He was taken to the Cass County Jail.

Thomas was charged Wednesday in Cass County District Court with two counts of luring a minor by computer, a Class B felony carrying a mandatory year behind bars and five years of supervised probation, if he is convicted.

Police allege Thomas chatted with a detective he thought was a 14-year-old girl since September, sharing naked pictures of his body and asking for photos of the girl, court records say. Officers allege Thomas thought the girl had just turned 15 years old.

Detectives with the Fargo Police Department’s Crimes Against Children group developed the case over several months, Vettel said. The detectives have made seven arrests since June 2010, posing as children on a variety of Internet chat sites.