A weeks-long investigation came together last Thursday when Texas Ranger Danny Briley entered the office of Stephenville Fire Marshal Gary Nabors, 51, and found Nabors engaging in an online conversation with a law enforcement official posing as a 12-year-old girl.

According to an affidavit signed by Investigator Anthony Yocham with the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office, and presented to Erath County Justice of the Peace Shawnee Bass, Yocham investigated the alleged offense of online solicitation of a minor committed on or about Oct. 13.

The affidavit states that on Oct. 2, Yocham, working in an undercover capacity, entered into a Yahoo chat room called “Married but Looking,” under the screen name of “TEXSARA12.” The investigator was sent a message by an individual using the screen name “ITALKTXN.” Moments later Yocham told “ITALKTXN” that he was a 12-year-old girl who lived in Rainbow and “ITALKTXN” said he was from Stephenville.

In the statement, Yocham said sexual conduct was discussed during the first conversation between the two. Nabors, allegedly using the screen name “ITALKTXN,” said he could not share photos under that name, then signed on as “G-TAZ00007.” Under the new screen name, several photographs were shared between the two - none of which were a sexual nature.

Yocham said during subsequent conversations, the two began to “converse in more graphic sexual content.” On Oct. 13, Yocham said the online sexual advances and graphic nature of the discussion escalated further.

Following the conversation, the investigator located a photograph through the Texas Department of Public Safety of Gary Alan Nabors, which matched the photos sent by “G-TAZ00007.”

Yocham also said Nabors told the girl he worked for the fire department and that he was communicating with her from his office computer and his city issued cell phone.

According to Yocham, the investigator continued to contact Nabors on Thursday, still posing as “TEXSARA12,” and Briley confirmed Nabors’ identity as “G-TAZ00007” by walking into the fire marshal’s office and “catching him in an online chat” with the undercover investigator.

Nabors was arrested and charged with online solicitation of a minor under 14, a second-degree felony. He was arraigned Friday and is being held on a $50,000 bond. He was transported to the Comanche County Jail Friday, where he remained Saturday.

If convicted, Nabors faces two to 20 years in prison.

In addition to working for the city since 1979 and serving as the city’s fire marshal since 1986, Nabors is also the second vice president of the Texas Fire Marshal’s Association. He became a common face in city schools as he donned white paint and a clown costume and performed life-saving skits as one of the fire department’s fire clowns.