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Rick Ferguson, shmucky ex-deputy, surfed for little girls on Boulder sheriff's office computer

Disgusting and moronic is a helluva bad combination -- and one that appears to perfectly describe the actions for which former Boulder deputy sheriff Rick Ferguson has now pleaded guilty. Ferguson has admitted to Internet sexual exploitation of a child -- from a sheriff's office laptop. And his sentence is a relative slap on the wrist, which is shmucky in and of itself.

As we first reported last December, sheriff's office reps were contacted by a Boulder County Information Technology staffer who'd noticed what was described as "unusual activity" on the computer in Ferguson's patrol car -- an unbelievably boneheaded move for a veteran law enforcer (he'd been on the force for thirty years), who presumably had to know activity on the device would be closely monitored.

Said "unusual activity" is a euphemism, because, in this case, he'd apparently been communicating with girls said to be fifteen or younger in a sexually explicit way.

That led to a search warrant for Ferguson's home computer and his surrender to authorities on five charges: two counts of Internet luring of a child, and one count apiece of Internet sexual exploitation of a child, obscenity and second degree official misconduct. The first four are felonies.

No wonder Ferguson would seek a deal with prosecutors. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, he ultimately pleaded guilty to felony sexual exploitation of a child, felony obscenity and official misconduct -- a combination that will likely allow him to avoid jail time entirely. The Camera notes that he's set to receive a sentence of probation only, with time behind bars on the horizon only if he violates his probationary terms.

Presumably, this arrangement is an acknowledgement of Ferguson's three decades in uniform. Let's hope he spent the vast majority of it actually fighting crime, as opposed to trolling for prepubescent females.

More from our Shmuck of the Week archive: "D.J. Williams, Broncos linebacker, is a shmuck of non-human proportions."