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Colorado Corrections Officer arrested in nation-wide human trafficking sting

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 19:47:33-05

CAÑON CITY, CO — A Colorado Corrections Officer was arrested in a nationwide human trafficking operation that led to the arrest of more than 200 people.

The week-long operation was spearheaded by the Polk County Sheriff's Department of Florida in partnership with other agencies across the nation from February 6th-12th, 2023.

In a press conference Thursday, Sherriff Grady Judd showed photos of the individuals arrested in the operation, detailing their level of involvement and charges brought against them.

Of the individuals listed, 45-year-old Justin Sturtevant of Pueblo West was one of the accused. Sturtevant is accused of allegedly knowingly having sexually explicit conversations with a minor.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office alleges that on February 6th, 2023 Sturtevant had an online conversation with an undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. During the conversation, the "girl" told Sturtevant multiple times she was only 14.

The department says despite knowing this Sturtevant sent a sexually explicit image to the detective and engaged in sexually explicit conversations.

An arrest warrant was issued for the charges below:

• One count criminal use of a two-way communication device (F2)
• One count transmission of harmful material to a minor (F3)
• One count use of a computer to solicit a child for sex (F2).

Sturtevant was arrested here in Colorado and will be transported to Polk County at a later date. Sturtevant was employed as a Corrections Officer with the Colorado State Penitentiary at the Cañon City Colorado Facility.

News 5 has reached out to the Colorado Department of Correction about the current status of Sturtevant's employment and are awaiting a response.
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