A Santa Rosa man who drove 160 miles for what he reportedly thought was going to be a sexual rendezvous with a 13-year-old girl was arrested early Thursday when the "girl" turned out to be undercover Monterey County sheriff's deputies, authorities said.
Bogdan Pavlov Trakov, 24, was being held Thursday on $100,000 bail in the Monterey County Jail after his arrest in a Salinas parking lot shortly before 2 a.m., sheriff's officials said.
He was arrested on numerous criminal counts, including attempted seduction of a minor and contacting a minor he knew was underage for sexual conduct, authorities said.
Trakov, who is unemployed, was targeted by members of a special enforcement team trying to get to the bottom of an Internet ad seeking "High-School, Teen Girls," said Deputy Bryan Hoskins, who was involved in the operation.
He said deputies posing as a 13-year-old girl made contact Wednesday night with whoever posted the Internet bulletin and began exchanging information, Hoskins said.
The "girl's" age was revealed fairly early on in the conversation, as was the fact that the poster was in the greater Bay Area hoping to meet girls in the area, Hoskins said.
Eventually, after a fair amount of communication online, Trakov agreed to drive to Salinas to meet his new acquaintance in a shopping center parking lot, where he had offered to provide the girl with marijuana and they would drive to a hotel for sex, the deputy said.
The party later determined to be Trakov also provided information through which investigators were able to confirm who he was prior to his arrival in Salinas, Hoskins said.
The time between their first online contact and Trakov's arrival in the Constitution Boulevard parking lot was just under five hours, Hoskins said.
Deputies had the lot under surveillance and swooped in on a surprised Trakov at 1:50 a.m., he said.
They arrested him on suspicion of furnishing marijuana to a minor, providing harmful material to a minor with the intent of seduction, contact with a minor for the purpose of committing a sexual offense and attempted oral copulation, authorities said.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.