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Police: Man caught in online sting

Staff Writer | October 28, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A man is being held on $500,000 bail after he allegedly solicited middle school-aged girls online, not knowing the children were actually a federal agent.

Adam W. Smith, 41, of Coeur d’Alene, is charged with two counts of enticing children through use of the internet.

Between May and October, an agent with the FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force reportedly used multiple fake Instagram profiles in order to pose as different underage girls.

Smith allegedly initiated contact with three of the fake children, whose profiles identified them as being 12 or 13 years old.

He exchanged messages with the girls on Instagram and via text, police said, initiating explicit sexual role-play and requesting photos.

During one conversation, Smith reportedly expressed concern that the 13-year-old girl he believed he’d been chatting with was fake. He suggested she could prove she wasn’t a cop by sending a video, according to court documents.

In September, Smith allegedly told the girls he didn’t want to talk anymore and directed them to delete all previous conversations.

Police obtained a warrant this week to search Smith’s home for the devices used to communicate with the girls.

Members of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed the warrant Tuesday morning, ordering Smith out of his residence at gunpoint, according to court documents.

Investigators reportedly recovered partial chats with the girls on electronic devices belonging to Smith.

Police arrested Smith at the scene.

First District Judge Ross Pittman ordered Wednesday that Smith be held on $500,000 bail.

In Idaho, enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device is a felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.