Virginia Beach Navy Sailor facing child exploitation charges

Posted at 2:30 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 15:25:29-04

ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. - A U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer was arrested on 20 felony warrants following an investigation of the exploitation of a minor.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office partnered with the national Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Bedford County Virginia Sheriff’s Offices Southern Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Norfolk Police Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative Services in the arrest of a Virginia Beach Navy sailor.

38-year-old Michael Hartgraves of Virginia Beach was arrested after a four month long operation.

Hartgraves is being charged with 16 counts of use of communication system to request minor to expose genitals, three counts of use of communication device to request sex act from minor, and one count of use of a communication device to request child feel or fondle his own sexual or genital parts, according to officials.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office and Norfolk Police say they became aware of a profile on an internet chat room that was seeking to engage in sexual activity with a minor.

The profile communicated with undercover agents and the communication lasted on and off for four months, officials say.

Michael Hartgraves allegedly sent explicit pictures and videos to a female he thought was a minor, Isle of Wight Sheriff's Office says.

Hartgraves works out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and is a member of the Navy Special Warfare Command Small Boat Team 20.

Police say Hartgraves is currently being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail with no bond status.