Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg firefighter resigns after arrest in child sex sting

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg firefighter resigned over the weekend after he was arrested on charges that he tried to have sex with a child.

Jeremy Wert, 35, was arrested Wednesday during a weeklong undercover sting in Manatee County that brought in 43 suspects. The arrests were made after undercover deputies went online to lure people to a home in Manatee County. The people who came to the residence believed they were going to have sex with a child but instead were arrested by deputies.

Wert had been a St. Petersburg firefighter for 10 years. Fire Chief James Large called his record "exemplary," saying Wert had never been disciplined and was considered one of the agency's best firefighters.

"I'm embarrassed," Large said. "It's a black eye, but we are going to get through it."

The agency was notified of the arrest, Large said, but he was asked not act until Monday to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.

Large had planned to fire Wert, but he resigned over the weekend, citing personal reasons. Wert, who was released from the Manatee County Jail on bail Thursday, could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

"Now we'll move on, continuing to show the public that they can count on their firefighters at St. Petersburg Fire Rescue," Large said.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8330.

St. Petersburg firefighter resigns after arrest in child sex sting 09/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.