Yesterday, Idaho Falls Police Officers arrested Allen Eckman, a 28-year-old male resident of Idaho Falls, after Eckman contacted and solicited sex from a 14-year-old female through social media. The account was actually a fake account maintained by Idaho Falls Police Detectives who specialize in internet and child sex crime investigations.
Eckman initiated contact with the profile and later solicited sex from the juvenile. Idaho Falls Police Detectives posing as the 14-year-old female communicated with Eckman, who acknowledged that he believed the person he was communicating with was 14 and asked to meet for sex.
Idaho Falls Police Detectives posing as the 14-year-old female agreed to meet Eckman and arranged a time and place to meet. Last night, undercover Idaho Falls Police Detectives, Officers, and undercover Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies waited at the agreed upon location. When Eckman arrived, Detectives made contact with him and took him into custody.
Allen initially told investigators he was there to purchase Pokemon cards from someone he had met on the internet. Later during an interview with investigators, Allen admitted that he had been the person communicating with the account he believed to be a 14-year-old female.
Allen Eckman was arrested for Felony Enticing a Child Under 16 Through the Internet [18-1509A(1)] and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail.
The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to encourage parents to have conversations with their children early and often about the dangers associated with internet use and social media. Parents should stay in touch with what your children are doing online including what social media platforms they are using, the photos and personal information they share, and who they are in contact with. Child/teens should never accept friend requests or respond to messages from people they do not know personally, and should never arrange to meet strangers for any purpose. The dangers of social media are very real and should not be overlooked.