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Published: Friday, 1/25/2013

Sylvania Township firefighter among solicitation arrests

James P. Thompson James P. Thompson

A Sylvania Township firefighter was among three men arrested Tuesday on solicitation charges at a Rossford motel as part of an on-going crackdown by the Wood County Sheriff's Department to discourage prostitution.

James P. Thompson, 49, of Temperance, was charged in the undercover sting at Knights Inn, 1120 Buck Rd., just west of I-75. Mr. Thompson is a full-time Sylvania Department firefighter and is a volunteer fireman with Bedford Township.

Mr. Thompson has been placed on leave from his status with Bedford Township, but remains on the job with Sylvania Township, pending the outcome of the third-degree misdemeanor criminal case, township administrators said.

Also arrested was Tony Pendergraff, 36, of 4132 S. Detroit Ave.; Demario Hartfield, 32, of 1673 Stanbery Ct.; and Thomas Welch, 26, of 448 E. Park St.

Mr. Thompson, Mr. Pendergraff, and Mr. Hartfield are accused of attempting to solicit plainclothes officers for sexual activity Each have been released from sheriff deputies' custody pending arraignment Tuesday in Perrysburg Municipal Court. 

Mr. Welch is charged with complicity to attempt solicitation. Mr. Welch was arraigned Wednesday and released on his own recognizance pending his next court appearance on Tuesday.

Morgan Morris, 20, of Monroe, was the only woman arrested in the sting. She is charged with solicitation.

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