Gretna men arrested in undercover solicitation sting

Courtesy: Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office
Courtesy: Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Two Gretna men have been arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover officer posing as a minor.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal says that Mathew Peter Verdin, 29, and Allen Payne Jr., 62, were arrested for computer aided solicitation of a minor.

Verdin, a part-time assistant basketball coach and student at Southeastern Louisiana University, and Payne, a retired legal assistant, committed the felonies in an undercover internet sting conducted in March of this year, according to the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office.

Officials say that a Washington Parish deputy, posing as a 16 year old female named Madison, communicated with Verdin and Payne through internet ads, email and cell phone text.

During these communications, both men indicated they wished to have sexual contact with Madison, authorities say. Deputies add that both men sent indecent images of themselves and requested indecent images of Madison with specific instructions on what they wanted to be shown in the images.

Verdin and Payne were arrested at their homes in a pre-dawn raid on June 11.

The two men were booked into the Jefferson Parish Jail as fugitives and then transported to the Washington Parish Jail.  They were released on June 12 after posting $50,000 bonds.

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