THOMASVILLE, NC (WCSC) - A former law enforcement officer was arrested Wednesday on a sex charge involving an underage teenage boy he allegedly met through a cell phone app.
Michael Paul Norton, 29, is charged with Sex/Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor at attempt with a victim 11 to 14 years old, second degree, according to U.S. Marshal Chris Atwater.
Norton worked as a Hanahan police officer, according to Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson.
The alleged charge occurred when Norton knowingly contacted and met a 14-year-old using a cell phone app known as GRINDR, according to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Norton was attested in Thomasville, North Carolina at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force, Atwater said. The Marshals Service was called in to assist investigators in South Carolina and Virginia after it was learned Norton was traveling by tractor trailer from Virginia to North Carolina and was to be considered armed and dangerous, Atwater said.
On short notice, the task force deployed to Norton's next anticipated stop in Thomasville, surrounded the area and positively identified Norton as the driver of the tractor trailer, the release states. Marshals say Norton was surrounded and taken into custody without incident after he delivered merchandise at that location.
Norton worked for Hanahan Police from January, 2012 until October, 2014, according to Hanahan Police Lt. Michael Fowler. For nearly a year beginning in August, 2013, Norton served on the Charleston County Narcotics Unit, a task force composed of investigators from multiple agencies. Norton was terminated from the department because of a policy violation, Fowler said.
Norton was being held at the Guilford County Detention Center in High Point where he is being held on a $700,000 bond.
This is an ongoing investigation with additional charges against Norton possible, Watson said.