JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind.–21 people were arrested in a three-day child solicitation sting operation that happened in Johnson County this week. One of those arrested is a member of the Indianapolis Fire Department.
“There’s something that’s just not right with these individuals. It’s scary that these people exist,” said Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess.
Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith confirmed the arrest of off-duty firefighter Carl D. Wemple. He is 45 years old and he’s an engineer. Wemple has been with the department for 17 years.
“He is suspended without pay, indefinitely, pending the outcome of his legal process. The department will continue to follow up, upon additional information being made available. Nothing further,” said Reith.
Burgess says the investigator posing as a child invited the suspects to meet in the 300 block of East County Line Road in Greenwood. That is where each of the individuals was taken into custody. The sting took place between November 28-November 30. Investigators believe the suspects were trying to meet either a 14 or a 15-year-old child.
“It’s hard to understand as to why they would want to meet a juvenile and have a sexual encounter with them. We worry about children. We worry about kids being taken from their parents. The internet sites that are used by these individuals to have sexual relations with juveniles are very disturbing. As the Sheriff of Johnson County, I would also say it’s quite common that offenders in these types of cases have explored these sites, met, or tried to meet an underage child for sexual gratification on prior occasions,” said Burgess.
Burgess says his agency and others in the surrounding counties will continue to conduct investigations like this to protect children.
Edinburgh Police Chief Doyle Little said that he works on these projects to, “allow our children to enjoy their childhood innocence while we, the police, shield them from the evil of child predators.”
“Together, we are dedicated to protecting our youth and our community from these ruthless predators,” said Franklin Police Chief Kirby Cochran.
You can hear the full interview with Duane Burgess below.
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