Eight arrested in southern Indiana anti-human trafficking, pedophile operation

Eight men were arrested in a three-day sting operation targeting sex trafficking in Seymour, Indiana. (WDRB photo) 

SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) -- A sting operation targeting sex trafficking in southern Indiana landed eight men behind bars. 

Six of the eight men were charged with attempting to have sex with a child under the age of 16, according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. The other two were arrested after they allegedly showed up at the sting operation to pay for sex from either a 16-year-old or a 19-year-old. 

"One of those individuals came to the site to have sex with both the 16 and 19 year old and promised to pay with a controlled substance," the news release says. 

The three-day sting operation in Seymour, Indiana, took place from March 9-11. It was roughly two months in the making and unlike anything the county has seen before.

"This is something kind of new to our department," Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer told WDRB News. "Probably to the prosecutor's office, but unfortunately this is what is going on in our community and communities around us that we need to try and put a stop to." 

Members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department teamed up with Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and to use decoy profiles for 15- and 19-year-old girls on known-sex trafficking and prostitution websites. Authorities had support from Covenant Rescue Group, a nonprofit that trains and works alongside law enforcement. 

Investigators said they received 7,000 back-and-forth messages from men in several states who were interested in the minors or soliciting a prostitute. The men who showed up to the sting operation were arrested and face the following charges: 

  • Richard N. Holman Jr., 60, of Holton, Indiana
    • Child solicitation 
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor
  • Jaceson A. Gahl, 19, of Indianapolis
    • Child solicitation
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor
  • Christopher C. Wylie, 33, of Amelia, Ohio
    • Child solicitation
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor
  • Thomas P. Roesser, 36, of Flowery Branch, Georgia
    • Dealing in methamphetamine
    • Possession of methamphetamine 
    • Possession of a controlled substance
    • Making an unlawful proposition 
  • Quentin G. Newton, 37, of Evansville, Indiana
    • Making an unlawful proposition
  • Johnny R. Lynn, 54, of Bedford, Indiana
    • Child solicitation
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor
  • Steven C. Frey, 30, of Owensboro, Kentucky
    • Child solicitation
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor
    • Dealing in methamphetamine
  • Hector De Acruz, 39, of Indianapolis
    • Child solicitation
    • Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved