Three Arrested in Sex Trafficking Operation in Grand Junction
Three were arrested in Grand Junction in the FBI's sex trafficking operation, Operation Cross Country. We're among 500 law enforcement agencies that took part.
The FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children aim to stop the sex traffickers of children. FBI Director Christopher Wray, said:
We at the FBI have no greater mission than to protect our nation’s children from harm. Unfortunately, the number of traffickers arrested—and the number of children recovered—reinforces why we need to continue to do this important work.
I can't believe that people are sick enough to do this to each other and involving children, makes it so much worse. Operation Cross Country, which is a part of the Lost National Initiative, has identified and recovered over 6,500 children from child sex trafficking, according to the GJPD. This has also resulted in over 30 life sentences for those responsible for sex trafficking.
Countless arrests and recoveries have been made nationwide during this year's Operation Cross Country, three of which are in Grand Junction. With the collaboration of the Grand Junction Police department, the Mesa County Sheffi's Office, the Fruita Police Department, the Palisade Police Department and more, here are the sex traffickers that were arrested in Grand Junction:
- Steele Stevens of Grand Junction - 28 - Internet luring of a child, attempted sexual assault, soliciting for child prostitution and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Released on a $25,000 bond.
- William Stephenson of Grand Junction - 49 - Attempted sexual assault, soliciting for child prostitution and internet luring of a child. Remains in custody on a $25,000 bond.
- Charles Verquer of Delta - 32 - Internet luring of a child, sexual assault on a child, patronizing a prostituted child, soliciting for child prostitution, contribution to the delinquency of a minor and resisting arrest. Released on a $25,000 cash bond.
During this year's Operation Cross Country, over 80 children have been rescued and 120 sex traffickers have been arrested nationwide.These children have been found in casinos, hotels, truck stops on the streets and online, according to USA Today. The youngest rescued were a 3-month-old girl and her 5-year-old sister in Denver. Operation Cross Country has help from law enforcement around the world.