Make us your home page

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 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

  1. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    Here are some events to help you celebrate this year's pride celebration:

    George Michael Tribute Unveiling

  2.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  3. Rick vs. Rick: St. Petersburg sewage crisis edition


    ST. PETERSBURG — For nearly two years, the political stench of a sewage crisis has permeated City Hall.

    Rick vs. Rick are battling to become St. Petersburg mayor. Former mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right.
  4. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  5. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.