Firefighter charged in sting case involving electronic solicitation of minor

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree today held a news conference to announce the filing of charges against a Kansas City, Kansas, firefighter. (Staff photo)

Devin T. Rich, a Kansas City, Kansas, firefighter, has been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, enticing a child under 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

District Attorney Mark Dupree, in a news conference this morning, said Rich was charged Sept. 13, and turned himself in on Friday. His bond was requested at $100,000. The charge is a felony, with a sentence possible of up to 247 months.

Dupree said the charge stems from February of 2018, when Rich is alleged to have contacted an undercover agent through an electronic device while on the job.

The charges do not involve any physical contact, but involve an attempt to solicit a child through electronic communications, according to Dupree. It might be described as a sting operation, he added.

The alleged communication was with an undercover agent who was posing to be a child 15 years and younger, Dupree said. The detective was with the FBI, he said. Involved on the task force were the FBI, the Wichita Police Department and other agencies, he added.

He said a complaint was made to the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, and after that, agencies in a task force became involved to do a sting operation.

Devin T. Rich

Dupree said the work first responders do for the country and community is much appreciated.

“We appreciate what they do and we thank them for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis,” Dupree said. “However, when those who are in uniform and have been given the trust of the people of Wyandotte County violate the law, it is this office’s duty and our oath that we hold them accountable lest they stain the uniform they have been entrusted to.”

Dupree urged parents to inform their children to be careful when online, and to be careful who they are talking to and what they are talking about. He said requests to children for sexual photos or for meeting up should be reported to the police.

The Fire Department issued this statement:

“The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department was made aware of formal charges of firefighter Devin Rich. Devin Rich was an eight-year veteran of the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department and he was assigned to Station #7 at 2717 Strong, KCK. Devin Rich has been suspended without pay since April of 2018. This matter is in the office of the District Attorney.”

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