ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Days before a teacher from Denver was arrested for allegedly trying to solicit sex from a child, he was fired from his position at an early development school.
Overall, 10 people were arrested after a three-day undercover operation in Adams County last week.
The teacher, 35-year-old David Joseph Hocker, is being investigated for possibly being connected to other crimes involving sex with underage girls.
“We’re absolutely shocked that this can happen. He came highly recommended to us through a substitute agency who had done a thorough background check on him,” said Sharon Knight, the president and CEO of Warren Village.
Knight said no students were affected at the school. Days before Hocker’s arrest, he was terminated from his position at Warren Village.
“It was nothing related to his duties. He performed his duties very, very well. But he was absent from work without calling in. And when we did call to check on that, we heard he wasn’t coming back, so we started the termination processes with no due cause,” Knight said.
Hocker only worked at the school for eight days, Knight said.
Another suspect who was arrested worked for the Aurora Public Schools. Investigators said 34-year-old Surat Suvanprateep works in a warehouse position and did not have access to children.
Adams County District Attorney Dave Young announced the arrests during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Three of the suspects were found to be Mexican nationals who were in the country illegally. They face deportation.
Those arrested are facing charges of attempted child sex trafficking, solicitation of a child prostitute and attempted child sex assault, officials said.
Besides Homeland Security Investigations agents, detectives from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Commerce City Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol helped in the sting.