• Comment

Man caught trying to meet teen for sex

Posted: May 2, 2015 - 11:13pm
Derek Bryce Merchant: Aiken Man, 26, tried to   molest a teen, police say.   Valerie Rowell
Valerie Rowell
Derek Bryce Merchant: Aiken Man, 26, tried to molest a teen, police say.

An Aiken man was arrested Wednesday after he was caught trying to meet a teen girl for sex.

Derek Bryce Merchant, 26, of Kenmont Street, was charged with criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation.

Merchant’s arrest was the result of a “three-week-long proactive undercover investigation to identify people who approach children online in an effort to meet them for sex,” said Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The FBI’s Cyber Child Exploitation Task Force, which investigates such crimes proactively, in Augusta was assisted by the GBI, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Lang said Merchant was apprehended at an undisclosed Columbia County location where he believed he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex.

He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on Thursday on a $100,100 bond, according to jail records.

  • Comment