Senate Candidate ‘Patriot Whistleblower’ Admits to Fabricating Sex Trafficking Story

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Harford County Sheriff’s Office
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Harford County Sheriff’s Office

A failed Republican congressional candidate allied with prominent Stop The Steal conspiracy theorists has admitted to fabricating a story about child sex trafficking to gain attention for his campaign.

Ryan Dark White, who ran a longshot Senate bid in Maryland under the name Jon McGreevey and sometimes referred to himself as the “Patriot Whistleblower,” caused a furor last year when he described lurid acts of child abuse that he allegedly witnessed while working in an adult bookstore. White’s claims of child trafficking made him a sympathetic figure on the far right, where he had made similar and baseless allegations against Mike Pence and Chief Justice John Roberts following Trump’s 2022 election loss.

But the adult bookstore claims were a lie, White admitted this month.

“On April 9th, 2022, I went to work at The Mistress,” White wrote in a public apology, released by police on Thursday. “When I arrived at work, I noticed a young girl and elderly male in the store near the ATM. I immediately recognized this as an opportunity to potentially obtain traction for my political career as I was running for US Senate.”

The apology goes on to note that he distributed pictures of the child to his followers, falsely claiming the child was being trafficked. (Following an investigation, police said they tracked down the man who had entered the store with a girl, and confirmed that he had indeed entered the store to use its ATM.) Though he did not mention it in his apology, White also made videos claiming to have seen the child half-nude and that she had been forced into sex acts with adults in the back of the store.

White, who did not return requests for comment, was charged last July with filing a false police report in the case. But rather than confess at the time, White claimed the charges were part of a broader deep-state effort to silence him and upend his congressional campaign.

In a July 18 video, White claimed to have been “working undercover” at the adult bookstore. He denied having filed a false report because the complaint emerged after he told the trafficking story to other people, who took it seriously and raised alarm. “Now how is that me filing a false police report? Didn’t happen. One lie after another. The continued insinuation that I am using this for political gain. Pathetic.”

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After the charges, White falsely accused the arresting officer of consorting with a sex trafficker. “I also posted photographs of him and his wife on my Truth Social account to have my follower base harass him,” White admitted in his apology.

White’s claims of being an undercover porn store investigator came more than a year after he’d positioned himself as a whistleblower in conspiracy circles. In Jan. 2021, he gave a deposition to pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood, claiming without evidence that former Vice President Mike Pence and Chief Justice John Roberts had been involved in child sex trafficking.

Soon after the deposition, Wood appeared to refer to it in court filings (in which Wood argued that he should not be punished for social media posts implying Roberts was a trafficker). “My posts are protected speech and I have credible whistleblower evidence to support the truth of my statements,” Wood wrote in a Feb. 2021 court filing.

Court records show that White pleaded guilty to drug charges in 2010, and to health care fraud and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person in 2016.

In a statement on White’s apology this week, Harford County, Maryland Sheriff Jeff Gahler said that prosecutors seldom pursue charges of filing false police reports.

“However, in this case,” Gahler said, “when such serious allegations are levied and a tremendous amount of law enforcement man hours are put into investigating the allegations, protests were organized against the business and many members of our community were and sheriff’s office were professionally and personally attacked and demeaned, it was imperative that Mr. White be held responsible for his purposeful actions and his wildly false claims and accusations.”

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