7 arrested in Mesa County undercover internet predator sting

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Seven men were arrested and three others were issued a summons to appear in court in an undercover internet sex predator operation, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies conducted the three-day sting with agents posting advertisements for sex with children.

Seven people were arrested and booked into the Mesa County County Detention Facility:

  • Aaron Kenneth Tydingco Apatang, 22, of Grand Junction for internet luring of a child, internet sexual exploitation of a child, enticement of a child and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child.
  • Steven Bruckner, 35, of Grand Junction, for soliciting for child prostitution.
  • Jason Gullion, 40, of Grand Junction, for two counts of criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child victim less than 15 years at least four-year difference in age and two counts of soliciting for child prostitution.
  • Michael Duane Jones, 57, of Grand Junction, for two counts of soliciting for child prostitution; two counts of pandering a child; two counts of patronizing a prostituted child; two counts of criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child; two counts of possession of weapons by a previous offender; four counts of distribution/manufacturing/possession with the intent to distribute more than one-half ounce to one-half pound of Schedule I/II or more than one-quarter ounce to one-quarter pound of methamphetamine, heroin, ktamine or cath or more than 10 milligrams to 50 milligrams of FLU; and one count of special circumstance used/displayed/possessed on person or within reach a deadly weapon during offense.
  • Terry Royster, 57, of Grand Junction, for soliciting for child prostitution and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child.
  • Robert Louis Woodruff III, 34, of Gastonia, North Carolina, for internet luring of a child with intent of sexual contact exploitation, and criminal attempt of sexual assault on a child victim less than 15 years at least four-year difference in age.
  • Austin James Pierce, 20, was arrested on an active warrant for failure to appear. The warrant was related to a recent arrest from a Mesa County Sheriff’s Office case where the victim is 14 years old. He was also charged with violation of protection order for having communication with the victim in the sex assault case.

Three people were issued a summons to appear in court for prostitution: Kimberly Anderson, 40, Dustin Kelleher, 40, and Jennifer Smith, 49.

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 the FBI took part in the operation.

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