20 suspects have been arrested by authorities in Indiana following a multi-agency child sex crimes bust, according to reports.
The joint three-day sting operation was executed in conjunction with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and the City of Franklin Police Department.
According to an online statement published on Friday, the operation was conducted between November 1 and Nov. 3.
Police revealed this was the fourth time that an operation of this type has been conducted in Johnson County over the past two and a half years.
Johnson County Sheriff Duane E. Burgess and Franklin chief of police Kirby Cochran issued a joint statement where they described the child sex crimes they encountered as “very troubling and disturbing.”
“During the course of this operation, we dealt with many different people and situations,” Burgess and Cochran wrote in the joint statement.
“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.”
More than half of the suspects who were taken into custody have since bonded out, police said.
Meanwhile, the rest remains in jail.
The individuals were arrested on charges that include child solicitation, drug possession, and providing pornographic pictures to juveniles, among others.
The sheriff said that some of the suspects were willing to travel great distances, including from another state, to meet with the individual they believed to be a minor.
They brought a range of items to the meeting locations, including alcohol, drugs, and firearms.
“Some utilized online transportation services to get to the chosen location,” police said.
“Some even wanted to have the minor leave and go elsewhere to have a sexual encounter.”
The JCSO released the identities of the suspects taken into custody as part of the sting operation.
- Mark Alan Adams, 59, of Cross Plains; bonded out of jail.
- Jeffery Dylan Alford, 26, of Greenwood; bonded out of jail.
- Philip Michael Buhrke, 26, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Ryan Alan Browning, 34, of Harts, W. Va.; remains in jail.
- Samuel Ernestro Severino Cabrera, 24, of Indianapolis; remains in jail.
- Brallan Campos-Acevedo, 22, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Jonathan Tyler Evans, 36, of Pisgah, Ala.; remains in jail.
- Calvin Michael Farris, 37, of Richland, Wash.; bonded out of jail.
- Jeffrey A. Hance, 64, of Mooresville; bonded out of jail.
- Zacariah Ray Hart, 43, of Indianapolis; remains in jail.
- Nicholas T. Hubbard, 23, of Indianapolis; remains in jail.
- Eric N. Johnson, 38, of Noblesville; remains in jail.
- Thiang Za Lian, 21, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- James T. Miller, 28, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Max Joseph Miller, 25, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Jonathan D. Morales, 31, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Jered S. Morgan, 22, of Monrovia; bonded out of jail.
- Helly Cananl Sang, 21, of Indianapolis; bonded out of jail.
- Za Thio, 36, of Indianapolis; remains in jail.
During the sting, undercover detectives placed advertisements online or used “a number of apps” that are commonly sought out by child predators seeking illegal sex acts with minors.
They then engaged in conversations with the suspects and went to a meeting location in some cases to arrest the individual.
“We want parents to be very diligent in knowing what their children are doing and who they are speaking with on the internet,” authorities said as a sign of caution.
“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.”
During prior sting operations conducted by the two agencies, officials arrested 11 individuals in May; eight in April 2021; and 10 in December 2020 on charges that include child solicitation, drug possession, and providing pornographic pictures to juveniles.
“I can assure you that the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin Police Department will continue with these types of operations,” police said.