Indiana authorities arrested 20 suspects following a child sex sting operation that was conducted over the course of multiple days.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Franklin Police Department executed the operation between Tuesday and Thursday.
In carrying out the operation, investigators posed as minors and agreed to meet the suspects at a specified location, where the suspects believed they would be participating in sexual activity with an underage child.
“During the course of this operation we dealt with many different people and situations,” the sheriff’s department and police department wrote in a press release. “The conversations that are had prior to the suspects arriving at the target location are very troubling. The requests that are made to the Investigators posing as underage children are also very troubling and disturbing.”
Some suspects traveled from other states for what they believed was a sexual encounter with a minor and some requested that the supposed child travel for the meetup.
Suspects brought a range of items to the meeting locations, including alcohol, drugs and firearms.
“We will never know the true extent or impact these investigations have on the safety of our children,” the press release read. “Knowingly meeting with a minor and wanting to take that minor away from their home travel miles away scares all of us. Will we ever truly know what the suspect’s true intentions were?”
After the operation, authorities arrested Mark Alan Adams, Jeffrey Dylan Alford, Philip Michael Buhrke, Ryan Alan Browning, Samuel Ernestro Severino Cabrera, Brallan Campos-Acevedo, Jonathan Tyler Evans, Calvin Michael Farris, Jeffrey A. Hance, Zacariah Ray Hart, Nicholas T. Hubbard, Eric N. Johnson, Thiang Za Lian, James T. Miller, Max Joseph Miller, Jonathan D. Morales, Jered S. Morgan, Helly Cananl Sang, Za Thio and Christopher Greg Wilson.
More than half of the 20 people who were arrested in the operation have been released on bond.
“We want parents to be very diligent in knowing what their children are doing and who they are speaking with on the internet. The number of online apps and what can be discussed is very alarming. Almost everyone carries a smartphone which makes it so easy to access these sites,” the press release read.
Between December 2020 and November 2022, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin Police Department successfully executed four sex sting operations leading to 49 arrests.