Crime Watch 8

11 arrested in child solicitation sting in Johnson County

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Law enforcement officials say nearly a dozen men were arrested for child solicitation during a three-day sting.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Franklin announced the arrest of 11 men between Tuesday and Thursday.

The sheriff’s office says detectives created fake accounts on websites where the accounts stated that the person was a minor or 14 years old. The sheriff’s office says the fake accounts would also explicitly state that to the suspect that they are communicating with a minor.

Arrested in the case:

  • Jeff Hendricks, 49, of Unionville, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation and resisting law enforcement
  • Samual Kaufman, 20, of Bloomington, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation
  • Joshua Sliter, 30, of Greentown, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation and providing obscene material to minors
  • Derick Sosa, 19, of Indianapolis
    • Arrested for child solicitation and resisting law enforcement
  • Jason Thornton, 40, of Indianapolis
    • Arrested for child solicitation, possession of methamphetamine, operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator, felon in possession of firearm and forgery
  • Francisco Bernardo Amaya Marquez, 25, of Indianapolis
    • Arrested for child solicitation
  • Dylan Muncy, 22, of Indianapolis
    • Arrested for providing obscene material to minors
  • Chase Reece, 30, of McCordsville, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation and providing obscene material to minors
  • Nicholas Sorley, 22, of Sharpsville, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation
  • James Thomas II, 35, of Greenwood, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation and possession of marijuana or hash
  • Dustin Ussery, 35, of Anderson, Ind.
    • Arrested for child solicitation

Investigators say one suspect, Joshua Sliter, was more than 112 miles from his residence before being arrested. Several more suspects traveled 40 miles or more.

JCSO said the sting was assisted by the Franklin Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Statement

“INDIANAPOLIS – The Department of Indiana American Legion youth programs, (Baseball, Oratorical, Hoosier Boys and Girls State, Junior Shooting Sports, Law Cadet Academy, Scouting, and JROTC), are designed and conducted to encourage safe interaction between program participants, staff and volunteers. In doing so, the Department of Indiana will not tolerate abuse in any form, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual, verbal or economic exploitation. Parents and families trust our programs to provide a safe and healthy environment for all involved.

“At no time did Jeff Hendricks work for the American Legion, Department of Indiana.

“Legionnaires and members of the Legion Family throughout the State of Indiana donate countless volunteer hours each year to our youth programs. Our youth programs teach young people a variety of practical skills, as well as developing leadership, teamwork, discipline, and self-confidence. Our programs encourage a strong sense of citizenship, patriotism and good-living, and participants of youth programs in general tend to have higher graduation rates and are more likely to attend college.

“Every youth program of the Department relies heavily upon dedicated volunteers willing to contribute time and skills for conducting essential functions of the programs. What motivates these selfless volunteers is an innate desire to give back to their communities and to help nurture those young Americans whose impressions of this country are still developing. The aftermath of numerous events throughout the nation involving the sexual molestation of youth by a trusted authority figure has served to prominently illustrate the need for, and importance of, protecting the welfare of vulnerable populations, such as minor children, as well as the need for protection from liability of those organizations and volunteers that serve them.

“While The American Legion, Department of Indiana has the utmost trust and confidence in its staff and volunteers, the need for implementing such measures is a stark manifestation unfortunately reflective of today’s social reality. Any organization entrusted with the safety and welfare of youth must mitigate its overall risk and liability, and that of its participants and volunteers, by taking measures aimed at sustaining program integrity and safety.

“To that end, the Department of Indiana requires all program volunteers, who may have one on one contact with a participant of any Department sponsored and conducted youth program, to successfully pass a background check and successfully complete a child abuse training class.”

Commander Mark Gullion, The American Legion, Department of Indiana