Feds Arrest Union School Bus Driver

Tuesday, February 27th 2007, 8:26 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma bus driver is arrested for child porn. Union Public Schools fired Shannon Tankersley on Tuesday after he called them and said he was in the Tulsa County jail. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports his arrest is the work of the local Innocent Images Task Force.

Shannon Tankersley has been a part-time bus driver at Union Public Schools for the past few years. The school says he passed a background check and drove fill-in routes that involved kids of all ages. He was arrested at his Broken Arrow home where he lives with a roommate, and officers confiscated his computer.

Officials say this case began in Georgetown, Texas on January 2nd. A woman told deputies she had found nude photos of her 14-year-old son when she accessed his Yahoo account, and she believed he had emailed those photos to a female in another state. The boy admitted he'd been talking to someone he knew as 17-year-old Nikki Blalock from Kansas City, Missouri, for a year and a half. He said he'd sent her pictures of his genitals and received nude pictures from her as well.

One email sent to the boy last summer, said in part, "Why do u young guys always do that... u trade one pic then something always happens…They say their camera dies, or their parents come home, or their computer froze... but it always happens when I ask for a full body pic.... I think ur... hott... and I wanna see ur whole body.. " Other messages were much more graphic.

And there’s no doubt the boy was surprised when investigators told him Nikki Blalock was not a teenage girl in Missouri, but was 40-year-old Shannon Tankersly in Oklahoma.

Investigators say Tankersley admitted he had created Myspace and Yahoo accounts under the name Nikki Blalock to pose as a teenage girl. They say he admitted to chatting with a teenage boy in Texas and trading nude pictures of a woman in order to receive nude pictures of the boy.

Tankersley's first court hearing is in federal court on Wednesday. We couldn't get his side of the story because he's in custody, and his public defender said he had just received the case.

The Innocent Images Task Force consists of FBI agents and officers from Tulsa Police, Broken Arrow Police and Bixby Police. It was created in 2001 to fight online child porn and sexual exploitation of minors.