A child predator sex sting has netted at least three more men suspected of trying to pay for sex with minors in Durango, bringing the total to at least six arrests during a three-day period.
Undercover law enforcement posted provocative advertisements on public websites April 25-27 to lure people in the Four Corners interested in paying for sexual encounters, according to arrest affidavits filed in 6th Judicial District Court.
One advertisement, posted on Backpage.com, was titled, “pretty young blossoms ☺ ☺ ☺ - 19.”
“Hey guys! Krissy here!!! Looking for very open minded no b.s. gentlemen for some fun in Durango!!!! We know how to please!!!! Text for details,” the ad reads.
Once callers responded by text message, undercover agents offered to let the men have sex with one or two girls, ages 11 and 14. Agents arranged a time and place to meet, and the men showed up believing they were going to have sex with a minor in exchange for money, according to the affidavits. The men went to different lengths in carrying out the alleged crimes, with some exchanging money and others getting cold feet and driving away.
Those arrested include: Rory Schmier, 47, of La Plata County; Jason Yazzie Chee, 39, of Bloomfield; Harold Marshall, 45, of Farmington; Charles Earhart Watts, 38, of Durango; Christopher Gerard Rindfleisch, 21, residence unknown; and Urunov Timur, 30, residence unknown.
Schmier and Marshall were formally charged Thursday in 6th Judicial District Court with solicitation for child prostitution. The felony charge carries a presumptive range of 4-12 years in prison, but because it is a sex crime, defendants found guilty face an indeterminate-to-life sentence, meaning they can be on probation or in prison for an indeterminate amount of time until probation officers or a parole board deems them safe to be released.
Bail for Schmier and Marshall was reduced Thursday from $250,000 to $100,000.
Chee’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Watts is expected to be formally charged May 13, and Rindfleisch and Timur are expected to be charged May 16, according to court dockets for the 6th Judicial District, which includes La Plata County.
The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Durango Police Department and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.