An East Coast Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) was arrested on Tuesday by The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office after a four-month-long undercover operation.
Chief Petty Officer Michael Hargraves is charged with 16 counts of use of a communication system to request a minor to expose genitals, three counts of use of a communication device to request a sex act from a minor, and one count of use of a communication device to request a child to feel or fondle his own sexual or genital parts. Officials claim that additional charges are possible.
Four months ago, The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office and Norfolk Police Department detected a profile on an internet chat room, which expressed interest to engage sexually with a minor. Upon discovery of the profile, local law enforcement contacted and worked in conjunction with the Bedford County Virginia Sheriff’s Office’s Southern Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
Agents from the Southern Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force posed as a young female on the internet chat room and began corresponding with the Chief Petty Officer. During the on-and-off four-month dialogue, the accused allegedly submitted explicit videos, pictures, and made requests for physical sexual interaction.
SOFREP has learned that Chief Hargraves was assigned Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), also known as SEAL Team Six, before he was canned for underperforming.
The accused is currently being held in Suffolk, VA without bond.
According to NCIS, more Navy related sexual assault cases take place in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., specifically in the Hampton Roads area, than anywhere else in the world.
Over the past ten years, there has been an upward trend of sexual assault cases at bases in the greater Hampton Roads area.
The Navy has taken large steps in an effort to prevent sexual assault, but unfortunately, it seems to be an ever-growing problem.
Lieutenant Katherine Koenig from Naval Special Warfare Command said to SOFREP that “the alleged facts in this case do not reflect the values and high standards of conduct the nation expects from the men and women of Naval Special Warfare. We take these allegations seriously, and if the service member is found guilty, appropriate administrative and/or further disciplinary action will be considered. . . Navy officials are cooperating fully with the local authorities who have jurisdiction over this case.”