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Institute firefighter arrested for soliciting a minor online

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County deputies arrested an Institute firefighter at the fire station Tuesday on charges of using a computer to solicit a minor or transmitting information harmful to a minor.

Justin Todd Adkinson, 29, was arrested on the felony warrant, which was issued in St. Johns County, Fla., said Cpl. Brian Humphreys, a spokesman for the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

Adkinson had a St. Augustine, Fla., address, but he is a member of the Institute Fire Department. Humphreys was unsure if Adkinson was originally from Institute or if he had just moved to the area.

Authorities in Florida contacted the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department about the charges via the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The warrants were obtained on April 5.

The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation is part of the interdisciplinary task force dedicated to fighting cyber crimes against children, he said. The information was forwarded to Capt. M.D. Oakley and Sgt. J.M. Launi in the warrants section, who then located Adkinson.

"They (St. Johns County Sheriff's Department) intend to extradite him," Humphreys said.

Florida deputies wrote in the police report that both Adkinson and the 15-year-old female victim were members of the Civil Air Patrol. Despite the girl's age, he contacted her on Facebook in August 2011 and initiated a friendship.

There had been no romantic or flirtatious behavior between the two before then, but Adkinson then allegedly began asking for photos of her in a bathing suit and "discussed his fondness for previously worn female underwear," according to the report.

The girl went to the police in December 2011 and turned over her Facebook account for investigative purposes. A St. Johns detective kept in contact with Adkinson using that account and via text messaging.

Adkinson repeatedly asked the detective, posing as the girl, to engage in sex acts with him and at one point emailed a photo of his genitals to who he thought was the girl.

The warrant charges Adkinson with use of a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child and transmission of material harmful to minors by electronic device. Adkinson is currently being held in the South Central Regional Jail without bond.    


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