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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — Another round of accused child predators have been arrested in Johnson County. This is how it all went down.

A months-worth of planning went into the operation conducted Tuesday, November 1st, through Thursday, November 3rd. Police officers from both the Franklin Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office went undercover on social media and mobile apps to trick potential predators into meeting children. Except those predators weren’t meeting children – they were coming face to face with the law.

“So, our undercover detectives are detectives posing as 14-year-old kids,” says Sheriff Duane Burgess of Johnson County, “they get permission [from the mobile app sources], they start chatting it up with these individuals. And it comes out to Tuesday when some of these folks are still chatting with us, and they want to show up. They want to meet a 14-year-old, a minor, a child, in one of their sexual fantasies they may have or just whatever goes on in their crazy minds.”

That’s when suspects are confronted and arrested. Some went quietly and easily, almost as if they want to be caught, says Sheriff Burgess. Some of the other suspects were not willing to go into custody and tried to run. They were taken care of in a professional way and brought in without incident, says Burgess.

This is operation number four for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in just under three years. They arrested 20 men during this week’s operation. In December of 2020, there were 10 arrests, April of 2021, 8 arrests and in May of this year, 11 arrests.

Sheriff Burgess has a message for both predators and parents.

“Well, if you get caught in Johnson County, I can guarantee you that our prosecutor’s office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, when you’re out here preying on these children,” Burgess continues, “for the parents, please, I beg you, I want you to keep an eye on your children. Keep an eye on where they’re visiting on the Internet, what they’re doing with their cell phones. Don’t let that cell phone be the babysitter for your kids.”


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) – Cyber Tip Line is 1-800-843-5678

NCMEC NetSmartz

FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force

FBI’s Child ID App – a tool for parents

Indiana State Police & the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers Information

Study About Childhood Trauma & Recovery