Local News

Sanford Man Arrested for Soliciting Child, Released on $5,000 Bond

Posted April 4, 2007

— Cumberland County Sheriff’s detectives have charged a former Harnett County Fire and Rescue worker with soliciting a child on the Internet to commit sexual acts.

James Burgess Fearon Jr., 53, of 2505 Brooks Drive in Sanford is charged with sending unsolicited nude photos and videos to an undercover officer posing as a 14-year old girl.

Fearon allegedly asked the girl to meet him in a Spring Lake parking lot to engage in sexual activities. Fearon was arrested shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday by members of the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team as he waited for his victim.

Fearon is charged with one felony count of soliciting a child by computer to commit sexual acts. He was held in the Cumberland County Detention Center but was later released under a $5,000 secured bond, according to police.

His first court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in District Courtroom 2B.

Fearon was charged in the state of New Hampshire in 1989 for sex offenses against a child and was sentenced to five years probation.

Sheriff’s Detectives were assisted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, SBI agents and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.


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  • Fire Apr 22, 2007

    Correct you are, HM, I was a member there for several years and some of the things that went on are shameful. Not all of them are like that, a good many are not, but when the leadership participates and encourages bad behavior, the clean minority makes themselves scarce. It makes me sad that I can say such a thing about what is supposed to be a noble profession. Maybe this added focus will shed a little light on the behavior that should not go on among honorable men and hold those less honorable to the light.
    I hope the naivety of some of the younger firefighters commenting remains within them, with more than fifteen years in the fire service I can only say I am not surprised, nor am I surprised by the politics that allow this sort of thing to run rampant in that firehouse.

  • HM2000 Apr 7, 2007

    In response to Firedogatwar's comment-- I agree no one should judge the department with his actions, however if anyone knows the history of that department they will think differently. Rumors of the fire chief, rumors of the former EMS Chief, and the audit by the county into misuse of funds. Maybe this is what the community needed to see that more than the locals are looking at the department

  • 2little2late Apr 6, 2007

    RE:"read: it was an undercover officer acting as a 14 year old, still wrong he should be under the jail.."...maybe if he had contacted/met/molested/killed a 14 y.o kid...THEN he should be under the jail?...it had been over and over judged by the courts NOT to be entrapment...

  • trex644 Apr 6, 2007

    Ok, so this guy wanted sex with an underage partner, but I don't see or hear anything about undercover agents going after the crack dealers handing out crack to our kids and getting them hooked. You hardly ever hear anything on the news about that. And when they catch one, nothing happens. Back on the street in no time. Those are the ones we should throw in a pond, and make sure they don't float! Wake up America!

  • Moabit Apr 5, 2007

    I do not think that one man's sickness is going to make everybody on the Benhaven Department look bad.As wrong as it is what he may have done, there is another side to him and he did a lot of good things and only in his private time it seems was he not able to control his sickness. We want him off the street but we should not think that everybody he ever worked with is just as he is. I think that some people are jumping the gun.Judge him for what he did but do not add things that did not even happen.

  • ArkAngels Apr 5, 2007

    mrbruno, You stated "It also states that you are not supposed to live near a school or a neighborhood where kids live." which is what I thought also. I recently found out that our county not only wants to build an elementary school within a mile of a registered sex offender, but he also lives in the back of a neighborhood that does have children in it. I agree, someone is suppose to be looking out for the children...

  • amypsychrn Apr 5, 2007

    I just want to clarify my position. I agree he is a pervert and should be punished-scarlet letter, tattoo or whatever.......I just wondered if these undercover cops go in and intentionally solicit people or if they just go in and wait to be contacted first?

  • firedogatwar Apr 5, 2007

    This is an outrage to the rest of the harnett co. emergency services and to the dept. that he worked at. I work closely w/ that dept. and please, don't blame that dept for one mans wrongdoing. He just slipped through the cracks. I'm sure that if any of the parties involved in hiring this man had known what he was. He would have never,and I stress never been employed there! I am proud to be a harnett co. emergency services member and I just hope this doesnt give the public the wrong idea about our fine men and women protecting and saving lives in harnett co. Once again please don't let this one man put a scar on Benhaven emergency services. Thank you.

  • HNCFF Apr 5, 2007

    Unfortunately, this man was a member of at least two local fire departments in Harnett and Lee county. Personnel that apply to fire departments are run through a background check. he probably did not have a local record and his conviction in 1989 would not have showed up in NC, besides most background checks only go back about seven years. Maybe this should change, just don't blame the rest of the areas firefighters for the misdoings of another.

  • kota Apr 5, 2007

    mrbruno-he does not work for the county he was employee of a volunteer department.