A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland has been arrested on charges of creating a false report of kid trafficking.
Ryan Dark White, 54, was jailed on the Harford County Detention Center following his arrest on Friday, the county sheriff said in an announcement. White is running under the alias Jon McGreevey in Tuesday’s GOP primary looking for to challenge Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who also faces a primary contest.
The Harford County Sherriff’s Office said White, an worker at an adult bookstore in Edgewood, Maryland, falsely reported in April that a woman aged 10 to 12 was being trafficked by a person on the bookstore and compelled to perform sex acts on male customers. The sheriff’s office identified each the male and the young girl, and said investigators found no evidence supporting White’s allegations.
“It’s shameful that a candidate for public office would make up such a story and use it to further his own political agenda,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler.
Ryan Dark White, also often known as Jon McGreevey.
Gahler also denounced an unnamed political candidate who wasn’t charged within the investigation.
“It’s much more appalling that one other individual, who’s running for a law enforcement position, would embrace such an obviously false narrative in an effort to realize political traction — nothing more,” Gahler said.
The Baltimore Sun reported White had been making joint appearances with Andy Kuhl, a Republican sheriff’s candidate in Baltimore County.
Kuhl’s campaign website warns of a multistate child trafficking operation and says: “Jon McGreevey and I’m going undercover to show these sick and heinous crimes against children. We must bring these criminals to Justice.”
White has previously said he began working on the bookstore as a part of an undercover operation to unearth drug rings and claimed there have been drugs stored in that location.
“They began exploiting children,” White said in a video on Kuhl’s campaign site dated June 9, in accordance with CBS. “There’s a baby trafficking ring being run through there as well.”
Gahler decried the resources his office wasted investigating the false report.
“I’m beyond grateful this young girl is secure, but extremely disenchanted someone would try to discredit and disparage the work of the dedicated men and ladies of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and Child Advocacy Center,” Gahler said. “Fearmongering and antagonism caused wasted time and energy by our personnel, whose time would have been higher served protecting the residents of Harford County, as an alternative of investigating lies.”
White is amongst 10 candidates running within the Republican Senate primary.