When James Edward Dacey arrived at Mesa’s Cinemark Theater on July 11, he was expecting a rendezvous with the 14-year-old girl he met on Whisper, a social media app that allows users to anonymously post photos and videos.
Instead, he was catfished by an undercover Mesa police officer and arrested for allegedly sending pictures of his penis to a minor and attempting sexually exploit a minor, records show. (Catfishing, by the way, is pretending to be someone else online in order to forge a relationship.)
Whisper is a cellphone application that allows users to post "secrets" on top of photos or videos. Headlines on the web app range from "What These Maid of Honors Did the Night Before the Wedding Will Shock You" and "15 Shocking Confessions From People Who Committed Tax Fraud." But the app's real appeal is the anonymity it provides — users ages and real identities are completely private, allowing them to post secrets their fellow Whisperers can respond to.
On July 10, Dacey, a 30-year-old Queen Creek man who went by the nickname “Blarg” on Whisper, responded to the post of a blonde anime drawing with the text “Soooooooo bored!” layered on top, according to court records.
Records do not indicate the undercover officer’s username, and Whisper does not allow you to search for specific “nicknames” or profiles; however, the Phoenix New Times was able to find a post that corresponds with the time, date, location, and description provided by the officer’s probable cause statement. We are not releasing the username of the undercover officer but have provided a snapshot of the post.
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Dacey continued to chat with the undercover officer on Whisper, Snapchat, and through text messages, even sending an unsolicited photo of his erect penis. The 30-year-old Queen Creek man asked who he thought was a 14-year-old girl if she liked being with older men, according to court records.
Over the course of their conversations, Dacey also told the minor he wanted to have oral and anal sex with her, though she “did not have to participate if she did not want to.”
At 11 a.m. on July 11, Dacey suggested the two meet IRL (in real life) at Cinemark Theater on North Dobson Road in Mesa.. It’s unclear what movie they planned to see, but the undercover officer did ask Dacey to bring Doritos, a blue Monster energy drink, and condoms to the theater.
Police arrested Dacey in the theater parking lot around noon. Under the “evidence found” section of Dacey’s booking sheet, the arresting officer noted Dacey was in possession of a bag of Doritos chips, a Monster energy drink, and an unopened box of Trojan Ultra-Thin condoms.