Rural Walla Walla fire chief blames pandemic for getting caught in Tri-Cities sex sting

Share:

A now-former fire chief from rural Walla Walla County claims he knew the 13-year-old girl he was chatting with online wasn’t real and he was the target of a sting operation.

Yet, when he needed to run an errand to the Tri-Cities, he got curious and set up a meeting with the girl.

Otis Garbe, now 57, was arrested Aug. 27, 2020, when he showed up to have sex with the teen and had condoms in his pocket.

He admitted at the time that if it had been a real girl — and not an undercover detective — he would have gone through with it if she was willing, according to a presentencing report.

But earlier this month, Garbe told a community corrections officer that the real reason he had condoms in his pocket was to seal torn hoses on his farm’s tractor combine, the report said.