SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Shreveport Fire Department employee is in custody and on paid leave after being accused of sex crimes, including charges involving juveniles, while on duty.
Fire engineer Brian Nicholas Garza Sr., 35 of Shreveport, was arrested after he set up a meeting for sex acts with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl and her mother, according to Louisiana State Police.
Once Garza had arranged the meeting, troopers say, he left the fire station while on duty to go to the meeting, where he was met by troopers and arrested.
Garza was booked at 2:04 a.m. Nov. 11 on 6 counts of indecent behavior with juveniles and 1 count each of prostitution and computer-aided solicitation for sexual purposes, according to Caddo Correctional Center booking records.
LSP says this is only the beginning of crack down on cyber crimes against children.
"We continuously seek out these criminals where they can't get someone else's kid, via the internet, or Facebook, snap chat," said Trooper Matt Harris.
After several concerned parents reached out to KSLA News 12, we confirmed that he was in fact a youth football coach in Shreveport.
The CEO of YMCA responded telling us he "hopes this makes the community more aware, and protective in the fight to prevent crimes against children."
He explained that Garza was terminated effective immediately but also pointed out that prior to this arrest Garza passed all background checks and even completed the training course, Darkness 2 Light, which is a sexual abuse awareness program.
At this time investigators have no reason to believe that Garza was involved in any other inappropriate interactions with children.
"If there is something else out there and it's brought to our attention, we will seriously investigate that," added Harris.
About 8 hours after Garza was booked into Caddo Correctional, Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton announced that he has placed him on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into an allegation of possible departmental policy violations.
Garza has been with the Fire Department for 10 years.
If convicted as charged, he could be ordered to serve up to 70 years in prison and fined up to $75,000.
The investigation was a joint effort of state police and the Caddo Sheriff's Office.