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Twenty Arrested In Bend Human Trafficking Investigation

BEND, OR -- Bend Police say a several months-long investigation into human trafficking, sex work and luring of minors has led to the arrest of 20 people. Investigators put an emphasis on identifying and arresting people who are attempting to meet underage children for sex. 

Bend PD says officers posted ads online, then posed as minors in both text and phone conversations. Over the course of the project, people at more than 200 distinct phone numbers answered officers’ ads. Many of those people, upon learning they were apparently communicating with a minor, immediately cut off communication. However, of the 200-plus people who answered Bend Police’s online ads and learned of a minor child being trafficked for sex, not one subsequently shared that information with law enforcement.

Police identified themselves as underage. Those arrested then agreed to meet, sometimes bringing drugs and alcohol to the agreed-upon location. Upon arrival, they were taken into custody on the above charges and lodged at the Deschutes County Jail.

During the course of the project, multiple people came forward and identified themselves as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of these suspects. Bend Police ask the public to contact nonemergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 if you or someone you know is the victim of any of these suspects.

The agency's goal is to identify traffickers and prevent this activity from taking place in the community. During the operation, Bend Police saw a significant decrease for demand in sex work, and by extension, a decrease in sex workers.

Bend Police also reminds parents, guardians and caregivers to stay involved in their children’s digital world, know the apps they are using and implement parental controls when possible. Children should talk with a trusted adult so they understand online risks, only chat with people they know, and make sure their online accounts are private. There are people who target vulnerable youth via online apps and other internet sources, and we have to work together to keep our children safe. 

Those arrested as part of this investigation conducted between May 19 and August 23:

  • Mathieu Ackah, 46-year-old Oxnard, Calif., resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct
  • Christopher Arroway, 30-year-old Bend resident: purchasing sex with a minor, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III (arrest #2)
  • Gage Bergeron, 31-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted rape III, delivery of a controlled substance to a minor (marijuana)
  • David Burnham, 73-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III
  • Forrest Dodge, 28-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Cody Fortune, 32-year-old Bend resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III
  • Ryan Frye, 23-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Rene Hernandez, 28-year-old Bend resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor, parole violation, endangering the welfare of a minor
  • Joshua Huddleston, 45-year-old Bend resident: attempted rape III, attempted delivery of a controlled substance to a minor (marijuana)
  • James Kapsalis, 26-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted rape III, delivery of marijuana to a minor
  • Miles Leffler, 40-year-old Sisters resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor
  • Devin Linker, 34-year-old Redmond resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Ian McCord, 38-year-old Prineville resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted sodomy III, attempted rape III
  • Jorge Beltran Mendoza, 29-year-old Redmond resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted sodomy III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Waynerd Montgomery, 47-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, escape III, criminal mischief III, resisting arrest
  • Jacob Schneider, 36-year-old Bend resident: luring a minor for sexual conduct, online sexual corruption of a child I, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, patronizing a prostitute
  • Connor Strupith, 22-year-old Redmond resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, attempted furnishing liquor to a minor
  • Isaac Testerman, 41-year-old Bend resident: purchasing sex with a minor, patronizing a prostitute, attempted rape III
  • Eduardo Vega-Ruiz, 22-year-old Madras resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor, attempted rape III, escape III, attempt to elude (felony), attempted assault on a public safety officer, reckless driving
  • Dylan Zook, 20-year-old La Pine resident: online sexual corruption of a child I, luring a minor for sexual conduct, patronizing a prostitute, attempted sodomy III, purchasing sex with a minor

During the investigation, police also arrested eight people who attempted to patronize adult sex workers. They were cited and released. Patronizing a prostitute is a Class A misdemeanor. 

 

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