Federal employee accused of using popular app to seek child pornography

AURORA, Ill. — A federal employee has been using the musical.ly app to ask teenage girls to send him nude photos, officials say. He’s also accused of threatening to rape and kill them if they didn’t send him pictures, according to WGN.

Richard Barnett, 39, hid behind the username “davidbanks1014,” according to the Beacon-News.

Police arrested Barnett Monday at his home in Aurora.

According to his LinkedIn account, Barnett has spent 14 years in the U.S. military. He currently works at the Federal Aviation Administration in Des Plaines, and previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security.

In his messages to girls on the internet he often bragged about how many guns he owned. At one point, he sent a picture of a semi-automatic handgun with the words, “That’s mine; I can and will shoot you; keep talking crap; I’m sick of your crap; now your [sic] done.”

He later sent the message, “I can hurt you and then dump you where no one will find you. I carry a gun every day.”

He told some of his female victims he would kidnap, rape, and kill them.

The FBI said if you suspect your child could be talking to a predator online you must call police.

“You’ve got to have an open line of communication with your child. Know what they’re doing online,” Garrett Croon, FBI Chicago media coordinator, said.

Barnett is facing up to 30 years in prison. He’ll be in court for the first time on Wednesday.