Former Lowcountry police officer sentenced to 7 years for child sex crimes

THOMASVILLE, NC (WCSC) - A former Lowcountry police officer has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to child sex crimes.

Prosecutors say Michael Norton pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual criminal conduct with a minor and one count of criminal solicitation of a minor.

Norton was a truck driver at the time of the 2015 incident, and was an officer with the Hanahan Police Department a year before.

The alleged charge occurred when Norton knowingly contacted and met a 14-year-old using a cell phone app known as GRINDR  according to investigators.

Norton was arrested in June of 2015 in Thomasville, North Carolina by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force.

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, authorities said.

Norton worked for Hanahan police from January, 2012 until October, 2014, according to Hanahan police.

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, authorities said.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.