A Kansas City, Kan. firefighter was charged Thursday with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s office.
Devin Rich, 33, turned himself in Friday morning and was released from jail later Friday afternoon after posting a $100,000 bond.
District Attorney Mark Dupree said authorities began investigating Rich in late 2017 after receiving a tip about his online behavior.
On Feb. 22, Rich allegedly solicited sex from someone he thought was a 15-year-old, according to Dupree.
But it was actually an undercover FBI agent, he said. Some of the communications occurred while Rich was on duty with the fire department.
A search warrant was served in April and on Thursday, Dupree said enough evidence had been found to support charges.
“The evidence is clear. The evidence is strong,” he said.
Dupree announced the charges at a press conference Friday, and used the opportunity to remind young people to be careful about who they communicate with online.
“It is not okay for an adult to request sex or pictures from a child,” he said.
The charge is a felony that carries a possible sentence of 55 to 247 months, depending on the defendant’s prior criminal record.
The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department issued a statement after the charges were announced, adding that Rich has been suspended without pay since April. It said Rich was an eight-year veteran of the fire department, and was assigned to Fire Station No. 7 at 2717 Strong Ave.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 25.
Rich’s attorney, John Duma, released a brief statement: “Mr. Rich has no comment on the status of his case at this time.”
Reporter Kaitlyn Schwers contributed to this report.