Undercover operation: Beaufort Marine arrested for sex crimes against minor

Molly Curley - Yesterday 12:47 PM

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – A Marine from Beaufort was arrested in an undercover operation last week for allegedly attempting to have sex with a minor, officials said.

The Island News reports Sgt. Devin Pafford, 27, is stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

According to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, on St. Patrick’s Day, Pafford arrived at a predetermined location in Camden with the intent to engage in sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl.

Officers attempted to confront Pafford at the scene when he took off, leading authorities on a short chase. A deputy was able to deploy stop sticks and disable the sergeant’s vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

No injuries or damage to property were reported in the pursuit.

Pafford was booked at the Kershaw County Detention Center for first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor and failure to stop for a blue light.

“I want everyone to be crystal clear about one thing,” stated Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan. “We have a zero-tolerance for anyone that tries to harm a child in Kershaw County. We will always protect our children.”

Booking records show a judge granted him an $85,000 surety bond.

According to the sheriff’s office, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is involved in this investigation due to Pafford's status as an active-duty sergeant (E5) with the U.S. Marine Corps.

WSAV News 3 has reached out to Parris Island regarding any disciplinary action being taken against the sergeant.