Men from all around Indiana thought they were meeting up with a 14-year-old in Greenwood, but were instead met by police.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office organized a three-day child solicitation roundup last week that resulted in 11 arrests. JCSO collaborated with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin Police for the sting.
This is the third child solicitation sting the office has organized in two years.
JCSO deputies and Franklin police officers set up fake profiles posing as a 14-year-old on websites used to find sexual partners, including Reddit and Adam for Adam. The profile drew interest from men from all over Indiana, according to a press release on the operation.
Men ranging in age from 19 to 49 from as far away as Greentown and as close by as Greenwood messaged the child. After an exchange with the child and with awareness that the child is underage, they arranged to meet up with them last week, Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess said in a statement on the operation.
Police found the men were willing to travel a great distance to meet up with a person they believed was 14, Burgess said. The Greentown man traveled more than two hours to meet the child, while men from Sharpsville and Anderson drove more than one hour.
“People also need to know that we are doing everything that we can to protect children in Johnson County,” Burgess said. “These types of details are led through the internet and certain sexual sites. Parents need to be very vigilant in reviewing the sites that their children are visiting whether on their computers or mobile devices. We cannot be our child’s best friend all of the time. You must be diligent in this process in order to protect them from the evil that exists on these sites and social media.”
The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges for all 11 men involved in the sting last week.
Several men provided nude photos of themselves to the child and asked the child to send photos. One man had a gun on his person when planning to meet the child and two others had drugs on them, according to court documents filed last week.
The men also brought presents for the child such as a drink they bought at a nearby convenience store. Others brought items like condoms, sex toys and personal lubricant, which showed police their intent to have sex with the child, court documents show.
The purpose of operations like this is to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding human trafficking, Burgess said.
“Johnson County law enforcement continues to conduct these types of details because of the link these activities can have to the greater issue of human trafficking. Children come up missing daily in the United States, and these kinds of encounters can play a part in that,” Burgess said. “None of the individuals arrested in this three-day child sex sting were believed to be a part of any human trafficking organization.”
Each man was arrested and taken into custody at the Johnson County jail. Most have bonded out in the days since their arrest, but two remain in jail.
Arrests and charges
The following men were arrested during the child solicitation sting:
Jeff Hendricks, 49, of Unionville, charged with child solicitation and resisting law enforcement. Traveled 41 miles, 54 minutes to meet the child.
Samual N. Kaufman, 20, of Bloomington, charged with child solicitation. Traveled 39 miles, 46 minutes to meet the child.
Joshua L. Sliter, 30, of Greentown, charged with child solicitation and providing pornography to minors. Traveled 113 miles, two hours and 11 minutes to meet the child.
Derick O. Sosa, 19, of Indianapolis, charged with child solicitation and resisting law enforcement. Traveled 14 miles, 30 minutes to meet the child.
Jason A. Thornton, 40, of Indianapolis, charged with child solicitation, possession of methamphetamine, habitual traffic violator – lifetime suspension, illegal possession of a firearm and forgery. Traveled 14 miles, 31 minutes to meet the child.
Francisco B. Amaya Marquez, 25, of Indianapolis, charged with child solicitation. Traveled 16 miles, 24 minutes to meet the child.
Dylan C. Muncy, 22, of Indianapolis, charged with providing pornography to minors. Traveled 17 miles, 33 minutes to meet the child.
Chase M. Reese, 30, of McCordsville, charged with child solicitation and providing pornography to minors. Traveled 30 miles, 54 minutes to meet the child.
Nicholas Sorley, 22, of Sharpsville, charged with child solicitation. Traveled 61 miles, one hour and 16 minutes to meet the child.
James W. Thomas II, 35, of Greenwood, charged with child solicitation and possession of marijuana. Traveled three miles, seven minutes to meet the child.
Dustin Ussery, 35, of Anderson, charged with child solicitation. Traveled 55 miles, one hour and 12 minutes to meet the child.