RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – Investigators say a New Mexico police officer admitted to exchanging sexually explicit messages with what he thought was an underage girl.

Ruidoso Police Officer Daniel Balding was caught up in a Homeland Security sting. Federal investigators say Balding thought he was chatting with a 15-year-old girl in Minnesota, who turned out to be a federal agent.

According to newly obtained court documents, when State Police confronted him, Balding admitted that he sent the messages. He told them it was the first time he had chatted with a minor online, and now federal investigators are looking through his other devices to see if that’s true.

The Law Enforcement Academy has suspended Balding’s license.