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Sting Nabs Suspected Predator

Believing that he was corresponding online with a 13-year-old Centreville girl, a Gainesville man who claimed he was in his 20s reportedly said he wanted a sexual relationship with her.

However, the girl turned out to be a seasoned detective with the Fairfax County police, and the man allegedly on the other end of the computer conversation was stopped in his tracks.

Last Tuesday, April 8, police arrested Tamer E. Guirguis of 6904 Traditions Trail, charging him with the use of electronic means to solicit a minor. If convicted, he could receive as much as 10 years in prison.

In an April 8 affidavit for a search warrant to seek evidence of the crime in Guirguis' place of business — a City of Fairfax restaurant — Det. Lewis Barrickman of the Criminal Investigations Bureau detailed the case against him. He said it all began in January, while he was working online in an undercover capacity, pretending to be a teen-age girl from Centreville.

Barrickman wrote that someone using the screen name "TGUIRGUIS2" contacted him via instant message, asking how old "she" was. When the "girl" replied that she was 13, her correspondent said he was in his 20s and wanted to know if she liked older men.

Instant-message conversations continued until early April and, wrote the detective, the suspect repeatedly asked the girl's age and was always told 13. "He also stated that he wished to meet to have a sexual relationship," wrote Barrickman. "On March 13, the suspect asked if, during a meeting, [she] could perform oral sodomy on him. He further stated he wanted to [do likewise] on [her]."

According to the affidavit, Guirguis allegedly "asked if it was OK to have intercourse ... [and] made reference to sexual acts he would like to do with the 13-year-old female. He [allegedly] stated he would pick her up and take her to a hotel so they could 'play' with each other."

Police then sent a subpoena to America Online Inc., requesting subscriber information on the man's screen name and, wrote Barrickman, he learned that Tamer E. Guirguis of Gainesville is the master account holder.

The detective also noted that, during one online conversation, the suspect described owning a silver, 2001 Infiniti G20, and Barrickman wrote that he found a vehicle matching that description at Guirguis' home. In addition, a check of its license tags revealed Guirguis, at the Gainesville address, as being its owner.

Next, wrote Barrickman, the suspect e-mailed a photo of himself to the "girl" and was sent a photo of a female detective (posing as the girl), in exchange. Police then requested and received Guirguis' photo from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, compared it to the one sent by the suspect and "determined that [the] images were of the same person.

"During an online conversation, the suspect stated that he was a manager of a restaurant," wrote Barrickman. "He further stated that he was doing the instant message from his place of work. On April 7, a phone conversation was set up between the suspect and an undercover detective."

Then, when the suspect called, his caller ID showed the phone number where he worked, and police promptly requested permission to search that place, a Fairfax restaurant, for possible criminal evidence — including the man's computer, its software and hard drive.

Centre View is not revealing the restaurant's name because it's not being accused of any wrongdoing — just one of its employees. Following his arrest last week, Guirguis was released April 10 on $10,000 bond. He has a May 23 court date.