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Durango man pleads guilty in child sex sting

Authorities arrested several men

A Durango man pleaded guilty Friday to attempted solicitation of a child for prostitution in an investigation in which seven men were arrested in connection with a three-day sex sting conducted earlier this year in Durango.

Charles Watts, 38, is the second man to plead guilty in the sex sting, in which undercover law enforcement posted ads on websites April 25-27 to lure people in the Four Corners interested in paying for sexual encounters with minors.

Watts faces up to 10 years probation after signing a plea agreement with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He also must register as a sex offender and complete any recommendations for treatment ordered by the probation department.

If Watts violates terms of his probation, he faces two to six years in prison under the agreement.

Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. Jan. 5 before District Judge Jeffrey Wilson.

Other men arrested include: Rory Schmier, 47, of La Plata County; Jason Yazzie Chee, 39, of Bloomfield; Harold Marshall, 45, of Farmington; Christopher Gerard Rindfleisch, 21, of Maryland; and Timur Urunov, 31, formerly of Durango.

A seventh man was arrested in connection with the sting, but no formal charges were filed.

Chee is set for a three-day trial to begin Dec. 7 in federal court in Durango.

Rindfleisch has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years probation.


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