Ten Arrests in Undercover Internet Sex Predator Operation

04/07/2019—Agents with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Fugitive Unit assisted the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and other local, state and federal law enforcement in a comprehensive internet child sex predator operation in Mesa County. Please see the news release from Mesa County below, or visit their website directly. 

MESA COUNTY, Colo - Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies conducted a three-day operation in an effort to locate internet child sex predators in and around the Mesa County area.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Junction Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Mesa County District Attorney's Office, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Marshals Service (USMS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), arrested 10 individuals attempting to have sex with children, or engage in prostitution as a part of this operation.

As a part of this large-scale multi-jurisdictional undercover operation, highly trained investigators posted ads for sex with children on several websites, social media sites, and applications.

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

  • Aaron Kenneth Tydingco Apatang, 22, of Grand Junction for the charges of Internet Luring of a Child (Class 4 Felony), Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Class 4 Felony), Enticement of a Child (Class 4 Felony) and Criminal Attempt of Sexual Assault on a Child (Class 5 Felony)
  • Steven Bruckner, 35, of Grand Junction, for the charge of Soliciting for child prostitution (Class 3 Felony)
  • Jason Gullion, 40, of Grand Junction, for the charges of two counts of Criminal Attempt of Sexual Assault on a Child Victim less than 15 years at least 4 year difference in age (Class 5 Felony), and two counts of Soliciting for Child Prostitution (Class 3 Felony).
  • Michael Duane Jones, 57, of Grand Junction, for the following charges:
    • Two counts of Soliciting for child prostitution (Class 3 Felony)
    • Two counts of Pandering a Child (Class 5 Felony)
    • Two counts of Patronizing a Prostituted Child (Class 3 Felony)
    • Two counts of Criminal Attempt of Sexual Assault on a Child (Class 5 Felony)
    • Two counts of Possession of Weapons by Previous Offenders (Class 6 Felony)
    • Four counts of Distribution/Manufacturing/Possession with the intent to Distribute more than ½ oz- ½ lb of Schedule I/II or >1/4oz-1/4lb of Meth, Heroin, Ktamine or Cath or >10mg-50mg FLU (Class 2 Drug Felony)
    • One count of Special Circumstance used/displayed/possessed on person or within reach a Deadly Weapon during Offense (Class 1 Drug Felony)
  • Terry Royster, 57, of Grand Junction, for the charges of Soliciting for Child Prostitution (Class 3 Felony) and Criminal Attempt of Sexual Assault on a Child (Class 5 Felony). 
  • Robert Louis Woodruff III, 34, of Gastonia, NC, for the charges of Internet luring of a Child with Intent of Sexual Contact Exploitation (Class 4 Felony), and Criminal Attempt of Sexual Assault on a Child Victim less than 15 years at least 4-year difference in age (Class 5 Felony).
  • Austin James Pierce, 20, was arrested on an active warrant for Failure to Appear. The warrant was issued related to on his recent arrest from a Mesa County Sheriff’s Office case where the victim is 14 years old. Pierce was also charged with Violation of Protection Order for having communication with the victim in the sex assault case.

The following people were issued a summons to appear in court:

  • Kimberly Anderson, 40, for the charge of Prostitution (Class 3 Misdemeanor)
  • Dustin Kelleher, 40, of Fruita, for the charge of Prostitution (Class 3 Misdemeanor)
  • Jennifer Smith, 49, of Clifton, for the charge of Prostitution (Class 3 Misdemeanor)

For updated bond information, visit the Inmate Locator section of our website. All arrestees are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank our local, state and federal partners for assisting in this operation and helping to protect the youth of Mesa County.

It’s important to know who you and your loved ones are engaging with online. Talking about the dangers of the internet should be an open dialog between parents and kids of all ages. For resources on internet safety visit the Resources for Parents section of our website.