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Crime

Harford sheriff charges man running for Senate with making up child trafficking report for ‘political agenda’

A Baltimore man running for U.S. Senate is criminally charged in Harford County after authorities there allege he made a false report about child sex trafficking at an adult store.

A Baltimore man running for U.S. Senate is criminally charged in Harford County after authorities there allege he made a false report about child sex trafficking at an adult store.

Ryan Dark White, 54, who is known as Jon McGreevey, faces charges including making false statements to a law enforcement officer. Harford Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler’s office announced the charges Friday.

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Officials said they received information April 13 about the store in the 3000 block of Pulaski Highway in Edgewood.

“The information provided to detectives claimed an older adult male was in the business with a young girl, 10-12 years of age, forcing the child to perform sexual acts on male customers,” officials said in a news release.

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White, who goes by McGreevey on his campaign website, is an employee of the store, Gahler’s office said. He was identified “as the source of the information.”

White, a Republican, did not respond Saturday to requests for comment.

The sheriff’s office said detectives with the county’s Child Advocacy Center conducted an investigation and found “at no time were any sex acts performed or offered by any of the individuals in the establishment as reported by White.” Detectives interviewed White July 7.

White was arrested Friday and has since been released on $5,000 bail, said Kyle Andersen, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Gahler said his deputies’ time was wasted by the report.

“Fearmongering and antagonism caused wasted time and energy by our personnel, whose time would have been better served protecting the citizens of Harford County, instead of investigating lies,” the Republican sheriff said in a statement.

Andersen, the sheriff’s spokesman, said investigators identified the girl and man in the initial complaint. He did not know the girl’s age.

They determined that the man, who is related to the girl, had brought her inside the store so he could use the ATM, Andersen said. He is not being charged with a crime.

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On Facebook, some people have promoted protests at the adult store, called The Mistress, because of the allegations of trafficking.

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A person who answered the phone at the store said no one who could comment was available Saturday.

The sheriff called it “shameful that a candidate for public office would make up such a story and use it to further his own political agenda.”

“It is even more appalling, that another individual, who is running for a law enforcement position, would embrace such an obviously false narrative in an effort to gain political traction – nothing more,” Gahler said.

While Gahler didn’t name the other candidate, White – using the name McGreevey – has appeared in online videos with Andy Kuhl, a Republican sheriff’s candidate in Baltimore County.

“There has been a new system of child trafficking implemented when Covid began,” Kuhl’s campaign website states. “It is now across 26+ States! Jon McGreevey and I go undercover to expose these sick and heinous crimes against children. We must bring these criminals to Justice.”

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In a phone interview, Kuhl said he had no political motivation in discussing trafficking allegations. He is running unopposed in the Baltimore County primary on Tuesday.

“I’m already the Republican nominee,” Kuhl said.


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