Midland/Odessa ‘Operation Gauntlet’ nabs child predators and human traffickers

Staff Writer

An inter-agency law enforcement task force recently conducted a multi-part sting operation in Midland and Odessa to combat child predators, prostitution, and human trafficking.
The operation, codenamed “Operation Gauntlet,” took place in three phases from Feb. 16 through March 3.
Phase One targeted child predators Feb. 16 and 17.
“During the two-day Operation, undercover chatters posted ads on popular online classified websites and conducted undercover texting and phone calls posing as a 13-year old female child,” said Odessa Police Department Public Information Officer Cpl. Steven LeSueur in a press release issued Thursday. “Undercover chatters responded to 6,095 incoming messages from 330 unique phones, resulting in seven arrests for Online Solicitation of a Minor under the age of 14, 2nd degree Felony. After the conclusion of the operation, Special Agents also had probable cause for two arrest warrants on two suspects for Sexual Performance of a Minor under the age of 14, 1st degree Felony; and two arrest warrants on two additional suspects for Display Harmful Material to a Minor, Class A Misdemeanor.”
See Sunday's Herald for the rest of the story.