MONTREAL - Don't ever try to tell Det. John Chapman he's out of his jurisdiction.

The straight-talking cop from small-town Virginia has been regularly trolling the web, hunting down cyber predators and child-porn peddlers from different corners of the United States.

Last year, after posing online for months as a 13-year-old boy, Chapman nabbed his first foreigner - Montreal private-school teacher Richard Doucet.

Doucet, who taught English and math at the esteemed prep school Selwyn House, will stand trial in Fredericksburg, Va., on Tuesday on more than 230 charges related to child pornography.

The detective said each crime carries a five-year mandatory prison term, which, because they would be served consecutively, means Doucet could be sentenced to more than 1,000 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

For Chapman, a father of three, his police work sees no state - or international - boundaries.

"It doesn't make a difference to me if they come from Canada, Mexico, Sweden, England," said Chapman, who works out of the police detachment in Dumfries, a town 50 kilometres southwest of Washington, D.C.

"I just want to catch the bad guys."

Over the last two-and-a-half years, he has made some 20 arrests as a member of the Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

While working his online beat, Chapman, usually portraying a minor, has engaged in sexually explicit chats, received emails containing child pornography and watched men pleasure themselves on webcams.

But when it comes time to make the bust, he said it doesn't matter where the suspect lives.

"He turns on that cam and once he starts to masturbate he's committed a felony in Virginia," he said.

Chapman, who has travelled as far as Phoenix to make an arrest, has netted people of all backgrounds, including a NASA employee and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staffer.

The 43-year-old said Virginia is a conservative state and wields some of the toughest laws against child-porn and child-computer crimes in the United States.

Since joining the task force in 2006, Chapman's work has helped his tiny police force in the town of 5,000 make headlines and rise to national prominence.

"We're a small little dot, but we're pumping out some great cases," he said.

"I think it's great, it's great publicity for the town, it's great publicity for the police department.

"I'm not in it for me, I just want our department to shine and I'd like to save some kids if I can."

To date, all of his suspects have opted for the plea-bargain.

"Everyone's been pleading guilty so far," the 20-year police veteran said. "I haven't had one go to trial yet."

Chapman, while acting online as a 13-year-old boy, alleges he had several sexually explicit Internet conversations with Doucet between December 2007 and May 2008.

Because of the operation, Doucet has also been indicted on several counts of attempting to take indecent liberties with a child and using electronic devices to solicit a child. He faces those charges in two other Virginia courts, including a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The detective alleges that they chatted online about playing a game of miniature golf, where the loser would perform a sex act on the winner. He also says Doucet emailed him nude photos of boys, some of whom appeared to be as young as 12.

Chapman says he set up a rendezvous at a hotel in Fredericksburg, and Doucet allegedly arranged to stop on his return from an education conference in Atlanta.

But instead of connecting with a boy at the Hilton Garden Inn, he met local law enforcement.

The child pornography charges stem from images found on a compact disc police seized from Doucet's hotel room.

Chapman said building and maintaining Internet relationships with suspects is the toughest part of his job.

"Personally, I think it's disgusting," he said of the exchanges. "I just look at it as a job. It's like a homicide detective going to see a homicide. The homicide detective looks at the body, it's disgusting, it's gross, but it's a job we do."