Undercover internet predator sting nabs 10 men in Colorado

by Samuel Abasi Posted on April 7th, 2019

Mesa County, Colorado: Ten people were arrested in an undercover internet sex predator operation and seven of them booked into the Mesa County jail, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office announced on Sunday.

The undercover operation was a joint effort between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies whose agents posted advertisements for sex with children, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

In addition to the seven men arrested in Mesa County for the sex charges, three people were issued summonses on suspicion of prostitution, the sheriff’s office said.

The men were arrested on the following, according to the release:

  • Aaron Kenneth Tydingco Apatang, 22, of Grand Junction on suspicion of internet luring of a child, a class 4 felony; internet sexual exploitation of a child, a class 4 felony; enticement of a child, a class 4 felony; and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child, a class 5 felony.
  • Steven Bruckner, 35, of Grand Junction, on suspicion of soliciting for child prostitution, a class 3 felony.
  • Jason Gullion, 40, of Grand Junction, on suspicion of two counts of criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child victim less than 15 years at least 4-year difference in age, a class 5 felony; and two counts of soliciting for child prostitution, a class 3 felony.
  • Michael Duane Jones, 57, of Grand Junction, on suspicion of two counts of soliciting for child prostitution, a class 3 felony; two counts of pandering a child, a class 5 felony; two counts of patronizing a prostituted child, a class 3 felony; two counts of criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child, a class 5 felony; two counts of possession of weapons by previous offenders, a class 6 felony; four counts of distribution/manufacturing/possession with the intent to distribute, a class 2 drug felony; and one count of special circumstance used/displayed/possessed on person or within reach of a deadly weapon during offense, a class 1 drug felony.
  • Terry Royster, 57, of Grand Junction, on suspicion of soliciting for child prostitution, a class 3 felony; and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child, a class 5 felony.
  • Robert Louis Woodruff III, 34, of Gastonia, North Carolina, on suspicion of internet luring of a child with intent of sexual contact exploitation, a class 4 felony; and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child victim less than 15 years at least 4-year difference in age, a class 5 felony.
  • Austin James Pierce, 20, on a warrant alleging failure to appear for a case related to a Mesa County Sheriff’s Office arrest involving a 14-year-old victim; as well as on suspicion of violation of a protection order for having communication with the victim in the sex assault case.

In addition to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Junction Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation took part in the operation.

The sheriff’s office encouraged people to learn about dangers online and directed parents to resources on its website or at sheriff.mesacounty.us.

Image : Aaron Apatang, Steven Bruckner, Jason Gullion, Michael Duane Jones, Austin James Pierce and Terry Royster. Mesa County Sheriff’s Department

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Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

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