UPDATE: Jeff Hendricks was sentenced to probation after accepting a plea deal on both counts.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — The deputy director for the American Legion was confirmed to be among the 11 men busted in a multi-county child solicitation sting led by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department on Monday.
Jeff Hendricks, 49, of Unionville faces charges of child solicitation, a Level 4 felony, and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. As deputy director of the American Legion, one of Hendricks’s duties overseeing programs that served youths.
Hendricks was busted as part of the sting after he reportedly communicated with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl online and agreed to a meet-up in order to have sex with the minor. The 14-year-old was, in reality, an undercover detective.
Hendricks was originally placed on administrative leave by the American Legion. Not long after, the American Legion stated Hendricks had been officially terminated. Their updated statement follows:
“We are aware of the employee arrest you are referencing. Effective immediately, the individual’s employment with The American Legion National Headquarters has been terminated. The seriousness of these allegations cannot be overstated. We are in total cooperation with law enforcement and will fully support the investigation and judicial process as it moves forward. In support of those efforts, we cannot provide further comment at this time.”American Legion
According to court documents, on May 10 Hendricks began communicating with the undercover detective on the website Reddit. During these conversations, the detective told Hendricks he was a 14-year-old girl which didn’t dissuade Hendricks. Hendricks continued to message the “girl” telling her how he could help bring her fantasies to life “no matter how twisted or perverted.”
Hendricks then made plans to meet the presumed 14-year-old at a gas station in Greenwood. When Hendricks arrived later that same day he was confronted by police who placed him under arrest. Hendricks reportedly tried to pull away and resist before he was taken to the ground by officers.