TRAVERSE CITY — A Stanton man faces charges after sending sexual messages and pictures to someone he thought was a teenage girl — it ended up being an undercover police officer.

A Michigan State Police detective used an undercover Facebook account posing as 15-year-old “Shayla” and received a friend request from a person named “James,” a man troopers later identified as 37-year-old James Edward Whitney.

He used Facebook Messenger to send photos of his genitalia and sexually explicit messages to the account, according to court records.

Troopers identified Whitney and court officials issued an arrest warrant Monday. Prosecutors authorized charges of accosting children for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime charges against Whitney — a four-year felony and a seven-year felony, respectively.

He also will be charged as a fourth offense habitual offender which could enhance a possible sentence. Whitney was convicted of breaking and entering and unlawfully driving away a vehicle charges in the past, according to court records.

It appeared Whitney had not been arrested by Wednesday afternoon.

Staff writer