A South Carolina sheriff’s deputy was once arrested for allegedly arranging to fulfill with an underage lady for intercourse in an undercover operation — a sting arrange via his personal division.
Derek Vandenham, a former deputy with Richland County Sheriff’s Division, was once certainly one of a number of folks arrested ultimate week following a five-day sting to catch predators who use social media and on-line chat rooms to prepare to catch up with minors or prostitutes for intercourse, Sheriff Leon Lott stated at a information convention on Tuesday.
Lott stated Vandenham was once “operating, on accountability, in my automotive, in my uniform … and was once speaking to have intercourse with a 15-year-old.” He was once charged with soliciting a minor and tried prison sexual behavior with a minor.
Vandenham, 34, was once instantly fired upon his arrest ultimate Tuesday, Lott stated. He were with the dep. since August 2015.
“One of the disgusting issues that I have been having to take care of is to have a deputy do one thing like this,” Lott instructed journalists.
In a commentary to NBC Information, Lott stated he would suggest that Vandenham’s “certification be revoked so he by no means works in legislation enforcement once more.”
5 folks, together with Vandenham, have been arrested after touring to an organized assembly spot. 9 others have warrants out for his or her arrests.
All of them concept they have been speaking with ladies as younger as 13, Lott stated, calling them “monsters.”
In step with Lott, a few of the ones arrested traveled from so far as Florida and Georgia.
“Sadly, a few of them we paintings with, like a deputy sheriff at Richland County Sheriff’s Division, a few of them we move to church with,” he stated. “However we’ve got were given monsters that reside in our group and so they prey on our youngsters and our task is to offer protection to our youngsters.”
The edge, which concerned more than one legislation enforcement companies, additionally ended in the arrest of former South Carolina transportation commissioner John Hardee, who allegedly organized a gathering with an secret agent to have intercourse with an grownup prostitute, Lott stated.
Hardee was once certainly one of 14 “johns” arrested within the sting.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Fee stated it “has no remark at the moment,” however stated Hardee was once “got rid of” from the Fee lengthy earlier than his arrest.