A police officer in South Carolina was arrested after he tried to meet up with a 15-year-old girl to have sex. 34-year-old Derek Vandenham was busted in a sting operation set up by his own department. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Vandenham communicated with the girl while he was on duty. Vandenham was immediately fired after he was arrested.
The five-day sting netted four other people who allegedly communicated with girls as young as 13 on social media and in online chat rooms. When the men arrived at a prearranged meeting spot, they were met by sheriff's deputies and taken into custody.
Vandenham was charged with soliciting a minor and attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Lott blasted his former deputy and says he wants to revoke his certification to ensure that he can never work in law enforcement again.
"Unfortunately, some of them we work with, like a deputy sheriff at Richland County Sheriff's Department, some of them we go to church with," he said. "But we've got monsters that live in our community, and they prey on our children, and our job is to protect our children."
Photo: Richland County Sheriff's Department