John Christopher Triplette, 24, is suspected of enticement of a child, sexual exploitation of
a child and Internet luring, all felonies. He is being held on $250,000 bail in La Porte, Texas, awaiting extradition
to La Plata County.
He was arrested last Friday by the La Porte Police Department, which also executed a search
warrant at Triplette's house in hopes of retrieving more evidence.
Local investigators participated in a five-day Internet sting in February that identified 87
individuals who are suspected of soliciting young children and exposing children to inappropriate material over the
Internet, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Durango Police Department.
None of the suspects is from La Plata County, although all of the alleged crimes occurred in
this region, because it is here where investigators set up computers to lure predators, said Durango police
Investigator Rita Warfield.
Investigators posed as underage girls and "chatted" with individuals who use chat rooms to
lure young girls to engage in explicit sexual conversation or view sexual content. Suspects often sent investigators
child pornography and erotica.
Most of the suspects identified are from outside Colorado. Cases originating in Colorado as
well as the more egregious cases are being investigated by local Colorado agencies. Other suspects will be prosecuted
by the local agencies of where they are located. All cases originating from the operation have been entered into a
network that cross references similar investigations.
As of Thursday, only five arrests had been made stemming from the five-day Internet sting -
one from the Durango Police Department, one from the La Plata County Sheriff's Office and three from out of
Internet Crimes Against Children is made up of law-enforcement agencies across the nation
with the common goal of locating, apprehending and prosecuting those who use the Internet to exploit children through
the sharing of child pornography, solicitation of young children for "meetings" with the predators and exposing young
children to materials and experiences through the Internet that can cause emotional and physical harm.
The lag between the operation and arrest often results from the labor intensiveness of the
investigation, a news release said. Court orders are required in all stages of identifying a suspect's IP address, user name and account information.
Investigator Rita Warfield said Triplette will be prosecuted locally because his actions were
"It's a good case, and it's a case where I could have been a real 13-year-old in Durango.
This guy has probably victimized a lot of kids, but he got caught with me," Warfield said.
"We are actively working these cases," she said. "Maybe (it will) send a message to predators
that they are not wanted here, and we do not want them contacting our children."
The Internet sting was conducted between Feb. 21 and Feb. 25. Agencies that participated in
the Internet operation included the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Durango Police Department, La Plata County Sheriff's Office, Cortez Police Department, Ouray County Sheriff's
Department, Montezuma County Sheriff's Department, Mountain Village Police, Farmington Police Department and the San
Juan (N.M.) County Sheriff's Department.
To report a possible child-exploitation incident, call your local law-enforcement agency, or
contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.com.
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