3 western Colorado men arrested in FBI’s sex trafficking operation

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — At least three men from western Colorado were arrested as part of the FBI’s nationwide effort to rescue victims of underage sex trafficking, the Grand Junction Police Department said.

William Stephenson, 49, and Steele Stevens, 28, of Grand Junction, and Charles Verquer, 32, of Delta were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country.

The three face several felony charges, including attempted sex assault, soliciting for child prostitution and internet luring of a child.

William Stephenson, Steele Stevens, and Charles Verquer were arrested. (Photo: Grand Junction Police Department)

Stevens and Verquer were released on a $25,000 cash bond. Stephenson remains in custody for the same amount.

The FBI’s annual Operation Cross Country was a four-day action that ended on Sunday. The operation focuses on recovering underage victims.

Overall, the mission rescued 84 sexually exploited juveniles; 17 of those victims were in Colorado and Wyoming. In all, 120 traffickers were arrested.

Operation Cross Country began in 2003 as part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative. The FBI said it has rescued more than 6,500 children since then.