Teacher, 9 oth­ers ar­rested in sting

The charges in­clude child sex traf­fick­ing and so­lic­i­ta­tion.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul Staff writer Kieran Ni­chol­son con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Ten men, in­clud­ing a Den­ver school­teacher, were ar­rested last­week in a child preda­tor sting op­er­a­tion by fed­eral agents and Adams County au­thor­i­ties.

Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions says three of the men also were found to be Mex­i­cans liv­ing in the coun­try il­le­gally and that they might be de­ported.

Those ar­rested face felony charges, in­clud­ing at­tempted child sex traf­fick­ing, so­lic­i­ta­tion of a child pros­ti­tute and at­tempted child sex as­sault.

Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions spokes­woman Karissa Mar­cum said the Den­ver County sher­iff’s of­fice, Com­merceCity po­lice, the State Pa­trol and pros­e­cu­tors al­sowere in­volved in the op­er­a­tion.

The un­der­cover sting took place Thurs­day and Fri­day. Mar­cum de­clined to talk about the de­tails of the op­er­a­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tors say the teacher ar­rested was 35year- old David Joseph Hocker, who works atWar­renVil­lage. He is ac­cused of two counts each of at­tempted child sex traf­fick­ing, so­lic­it­ing a child pros­ti­tute and at­tempted child sex as­sault.

War­renVil­lage, in a state­ment re­leased Tues­day night, said Hocker was em­ployed at the learn­ing cen­ter for eight days as a sub­sti­tute teach­ers aide for school- age chil­dren.

“The al­leged in­ci­dent did not take place on theWar­ren Vil­lage cam­pus, and we are con­fi­dent that no wrong­do­ing oc­curred at War­ren Vil­lage,” the re­lease said.

War­ren Vil­lage did typ­i­cal back­ground and re­fer­ance checks on Hocker, in­clud­ing through the sex- of­fender registry.

“All back­ground checks and vet­ting re­views came back clean,” the re­lease said. “There were no red flags from any vet­ting ef­forts.”

Ac­cord­ing to an ar­rest af­fi­davit, Hocker agreed to pay $ 300 for sex with two girls— ages 11 and 14— for an hour. Of­fi­cials say the teacher didn’t know he was re­ally talk­ing with un­der­cover of­fi­cers af­ter re­spond­ing to an ad placed on Back­page. com.

Pros­e­cu­tors asked that Hocker’s bail be set at $ 100,000 — well above the $ 20,000 stan­dard for the charges he faces— be­cause “he is a dan­ger to the com­mu­nity.” In a mo­tion, the district at­tor­ney’s of­fice saidHocker has a his­tory of work­ing with chil­dren.

Fed­eral agents say they be­lieve Hocker could have more vic­tims fromhis­work with chil­dren and ask any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call 1- 866- DHS- 2- ICE.

An­other man ar­rested, 34- year- old Su­rat Su­van­pra­teep, is an em­ployee at Aurora Pub­lic Schools who works in a ware­house po­si­tion that does not put him in con­tact with chil­dren, pros­e­cu­tors say.


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