By David Schwartz
PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania man has been arrested by undercover deputies in Arizona after traveling across the country to have sex with a horse, a sheriff's spokesman said on Monday.
Michael Crawford, 68, was booked into a Maricopa County jail and later released on a felony bestiality charge. He was arrested after meeting with the undercover deputies in the Phoenix area, said sheriff's Deputy Joaquin Enriquez.
He was taken into custody after he confirmed his sexual intentions to the undercover officers, who came to the meeting with two horses in a trailer, Enriquez said. Crawford did not have sex with either of the animals, the deputy added.
Authorities said the investigation into Crawford began last October when an undercover sheriff's deputy responded to his online advertisement seeking such a sex act.
A flurry of emails and telephone calls then followed between Crawford and animal crime detectives, with the man telling the undercover officers his plans in "graphic detail" and looking for a willing horse owner, police said.
"If you can really help with what I am seeking, I am definitely interested in traveling out to meet you," he told the detectives, adding he had purchased a non-refundable ticket to Phoenix, according to police.
Crawford told detectives he had traveled the country since the 1970s to find horse owners willing to let him have sex with the animals, Enriquez said.
On Friday, authorities said he was met by undercover deputies at the Phoenix airport and taken to a meeting with a volunteer sheriff's posse member and the horses in Tolleson, Arizona.
The meeting, which was videotaped, showed Crawford picking out one of the horses to commit the act.
"Perversion has reached a new level," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement.
It was the eighth arrest for bestiality made by sheriff's deputies in the past five years, his office said.
(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis)