By Tony Kukulich
A Marine stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort was arrested last week in Kershaw County after allegedly traveling there intending to have a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.
Devin Thomas Pafford of Beaufort, a 27-year-old active-duty E5 sergeant, was charged with second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor; second-degree criminal solicitation of a minor and failure to stop for a blue light.
According to information released by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, Pafford arrived at a predetermined location for the encounter, Thursday, March 17. There he was confronted by law enforcement officers conducting a multi-agency undercover operation. Pafford fled in his car and led police on a chase. He was apprehended when his vehicle was disabled by stop sticks deployed by a Sheriff’s Office deputy.
No one was injured in the chase.
Pafford is currently being held at the Kershaw County Detention Center.
“I want to be crystal clear about one thing,” said Sheriff Lee Boan. “We have zero tolerance for anyone that tries to harm a child in Kershaw County. We will always protect our children.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is involved in the investigation due to Pafford’s status as an active-duty Marine.
Tony Kukulich is a recent transplant to the Lowcountry. A native of Wilmington, Del., he comes to The Island News from the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent seven years as a reporter and photographer for several publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.