Yuma man tried to meet minor girls for sex

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YUMA - A man who thought he had set up a date with a 14-year-old girl instead ended up meeting sheriff's deputies from Yavapai County.

The YCSO Internet Predator Unit used the internet to portray a 14-year-old girl. They talked to 55-year-old David Gardner, a Yuma resident, for several weeks as the teenage girl.

Investigators say Gardner agreed to meet the girl for sex and also sent a picture of his genitals at some point.

YCSO initially made contact with the suspect online posing as 12-year-old and later introduced the 14-year-old who was the younger girl's friend. Detectives say Gardner was interested in a threesome with both girls.

When he arrived at a city park where he had agreed to meet the 14-year-old, deputies were on scene and arrested Gardner. They searched his vehicle where they found a laptop computer. After further investigation, detectives discovered Gardner had rented a hotel room where he had sex toys and alcohol waiting. That had been planned during the chat.

In all, detectives say Gardner tried to have sexual contact with at least 3 minor children. One attempt was on Saturday and two attempts on Sunday.

Gardner is in the Camp Verde Detention Center and faces 3 counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.