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Officer charged with child solicitation

A Ruidoso police officer has been charged with child solicitation after he allegedly exchanged photos and engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a federal agent posing as a 15-year-old girl, New Mexico State Police announced late Friday.

Daniel Balding

Agents with the State Police Investigations Bureau arrested Daniel Balding, 35, on Sept. 12, the agency said in a news release. He is charged with child solicitation by electronic device and was subsequently released on his own recognizance.

According to the news release: Homeland Security Investigations contacted State Police to report that a federal agent in Minnesota posing as a 15-year-old girl on the Whisper app was contacted by Balding. Federal authorities allege Balding exchanged photos and had sexually explicit conversations with the agent.

State Police obtained an arrest warrant through the 12th Judicial District Court in Lincoln County.

The case is still under investigation, and State Police said no additional information was available.

Balding is being represented by a public defender in Lincoln County whose name was not listed on court documents.

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