A spokesperson with SFD told Q13 News on Saturday that the 52-year-old firefighter and EMT, Andrew Sapier, was arrested while off duty.
During the two-day operation, Washington State Patrol and several partner agencies conducted Operation Day Care, similar to the Net Nanny Operations, which have netted over 292 arrests and rescued more than 31 children across Washington since 2015. During the online sting, four men, including Sapier were arrested.
According to charging documents, he drove to a Tacoma house to meet with who he thought were two 13-year-old girls but was instead was met with detectives.
The SFD spokesperson said Sapier has been placed on administrative leave during the legal process and internal investigation. He has been with the department since 1998.
"While the internet is a powerful tool for our nation, criminals using it to target our communities necessitates a need for proactive investigations by our troopers and law enforcement partners in order to combat these horrible crimes," said WSP Chief John Batiste in a release on Friday. "This operation is aimed at protecting our vulnerable children and making communities safer.
Additional arrests made include a 52-year-old Tacoma man, 22-year-old Bonney Lake man, and a 34-year-old Tacoma man. All suspects including Sapier are under investigation for attempted rape of a child in the second degree and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
Sapier is out on bail.
Stay connected with Q13 News on all platforms:
DOWNLOAD: Q13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: Q13 News Live
SUBSCRIBE: Q13 FOX on YouTube