BRUNSWICK — A town police officer is on administrative leave after being arrested Tuesday by federal authorities for allegedly attempting to transfer obscene material to a minor.
Garrett Brosnan, 25, of Bath, appeared Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation into Brosnan began, according to court documents, when parents of a 13-year-old girl in Flagstaff, Arizona, told police their daughter had sexual conversations online with a man claiming to be 19. The man asked their daughter to send him pictures of herself.
The Flagstaff Police Department referred the case to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arm May 9. Federal agents were able to identify the man as Brosnan through his Yahoo email account.
HSI Special Agent Kathryn Gamble then initiated online conversations with Brosnan, posing as a 14-year-old girl from Arizona. On June 2, Brosnan sent Gamble two pictures of his exposed genitals; he sent a third on June 7, according to court documents.
U.S. Judge John Rich signed a warrant for Brosnan’s arrest Monday, June 20.
Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo said Wednesday afternoon that Brosnan has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal Police Department investigation.
Rizzo said at a press conference that the charges against Brosnan are “embarrassing to me, it’s embarrassing to my officers, and it’s embarrassing to the town.”
He said the department was not aware of the federal investigation until Brosnan was arrested.
Brosnan has served on the force for just under three years, Rizzo said, and in that time had never been disciplined.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff said Brosnan was released pending trial after his initial court hearing Wednesday. He provided a $10,000 unsecured bond, must live with his parents, and may not have unsupervised contact with children under 18.
Updated June 27: Officer Brosnan resigned from the Brunswick Police Department June 25, according to Chief Rizzo.