6 arrested in latest sex sting operation

Men thought they were talking to teen girl
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Shawano County authorities Friday wrapped up a weeklong internet sex sting operation that nabbed six potential child sex predators.

The operation involved detectives from the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department posing as juveniles on the internet and either posting or responding to ads on websites such as Craigslist.

In these cases, the detectives were posing as 15-year-old girls.

Once contact was made, text messages and emails were exchanged between the suspect and the supposed juvenile.

Communications eventually turned sexually graphic in nature and the suspects arranged to meet for a sexual rendezvous, even though the detectives made clear they were underage.

The men were taken into custody when they arrived.

The operation is part of the national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which has resulted in dozens of arrests in Shawano County over the last three years.

Detective Sgt. Gordon Kowaleski said he continues to be amazed at the number of arrests made during the operations, all of which have been highly publicized after the fact.

“You would think at some point this would act as a deterrent,” he said. “But we get about the same number of arrests every time we do this. I find that very alarming.”

County authorities arrested two men on the first night of the operation on Aug. 12, two more on Tuesday night, another on Wednesday, and the sixth on Friday night.

Five of them so far have been formally charged with using a computer to facilitate a sex crime: Christopher L. Shelton, 32, of Suamico; Antonio Berton, 22, of Ripon; James M. Gosse, 34, of Green Bay; Juan P. Flores Rodriguez, 35, of Green Bay; and Adam J. Geurts, 35, of Suring.

Arrested Friday was a 55-year-old man from the Green Bay area. He was expected to be charged Monday.

Each could face a maximum 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if found guilty.

Shawano County’s operation in March also netted six suspects.

Kowaleski said the operations would continue.

“We’re going to continue to be aggressive and proactive in these kinds of cases,” he said.