Three of the 10 men arrested in the Fairfield Police Department’s child predator undercover sting operation, which was carried out in cooperation with former “To Catch a Predator” personality Chris Hansen and the State’s Attorney’s Office, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court, according to the Connecticut Post.
Daniel Tepfer of the Post reports that one of the men, Stratford’s Stephen Buchanan, a member of the Connecticut National Guard and fought in Iraq, had aspired to become a Stratford police officer and is No. 100 on the department’s hiring list.
Buchanan, 27, is being held in lieu of a $1.1 million bond after police say he allegedly tried to convince the Fairfield University student who portrayed the 13-year-old girl he had been communicating with via the Internet and text messages to get into his car, where officers later found a black bag containing a loaded gun, a roll of duct tape, a knife and a box of condoms.
During the arraignment, Buchanan’s lawyer Michael A. Fitzpatrick said the “arrest reeks of entrapment and again raises the debate on whether a sting catches a criminal or creates a criminal,” according to Tepfer.