RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – He was a New Mexico cop who got caught up in an undercover sting and charged with child solicitation. Now, newly released text messages show the moments leading up to his arrest. A warning, some of the content may be graphic.
Last month, New Mexico State Police arrested Ruidoso Police Officer, Daniel Balding, after they say he took the bait when an undercover agent posed as a 15-year old. Ruidoso Police Chief Darren Hooker told KRQE News 13 last month that Balding is on paid leave.
“In dealing with these kinds of situations, you never can prepare for them. We just try to make sure we do the best we can,” said Chief Hooker.
It started with a post on an app called “Whisper” saying, “Guys in uniform rock.” Screenshots of the conversation show Balding responded to the post.
That’s when the undercover agent immediately told him she’s only 15 years old. Balding told the girl he didn’t care about her age and sent a photo of himself.
That’s when the conversation quickly turned graphic. Balding sent another picture of himself in his police unit and in uniform, then asked the teen to send him graphic pictures of herself.
He also admitted to talking to her while on the job, but as soon as he got a moment, Balding sent the girl a shirtless picture of himself.
At that point, Balding started asking the undercover agent about her friend and said he wanted to have sex with both of them. When the girl asked if Balding cared that her friend was also 15, he responded with, “not if she is cute.”
Last month, Balding’s wife told KRQE News 13 these allegations against her husband are not true.
“I don’t believe that my husband is capable of having any sexual relations with an underage girl. We have a four-year-old daughter, and he is not that type of person,” said Alison Balding.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Ruidoso Police Chief and Balding’s wife to comment on this story, but they did not get back to us.
Balding has pleaded not guilty. The Law Enforcement Academy has suspended his law enforcement license.