A dozen men arrested in ‘teen party’ sting
About a dozen men bearing gifts of booze responded Friday to an online ad for a teen party and were arrested by Carson City officers.
Working with a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice, an ad for a “teen party” was posted on Craigslist two weeks ago, said Detective Daniel Gonzales.
Within 12 hours of the posting, the number listed had received 176 text messages and 40 voicemails, said Gonzales, and the calls kept coming in. Men even responded with photos of their genitals, he said.
Gonzales said that throughout the week officers responded to the callers with text messages saying the party would be Friday at a Carson City hotel.
Then from 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday five female decoys ranging in ages from 16 to 19 waited in the rooms while police watched nearby.
Gonzales said some men came carrying alcohol, and others checked the room first then left to buy alcohol and returned. As soon as the alcohol was offered to the minor decoys, officers entered the room and made arrests.
Among those jailed were:
• A Minden man, 27; a Sparks man, 27; and two Reno men, ages 30 and 32, arrested on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
• A 20-year-old Carson City man arrested on suspicion of contributing to delinquency, furnishing alcohol to a minor and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
• An 18-year-old Minden man arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and offering a controlled substance to a juvenile.
• A 22-year-old Gardnerville man arrested on suspicion of probation violation.
Gonzales said one of the men had been arrested, but never convicted, of rape and kidnapping in the 1990s. He said another was a 37-year-old man who drove in from the Bay area. He said only one person was from Carson City.
“Kids partying in motel rooms is very common,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong. “We know that there are motel and hotel teen parties. We are on the lookout for them, especially with spring coming.
“My biggest concern is the vulnerability of a major sex offender entering the party. When you get a 30-year-old man wanting to go to a teen party, it becomes very suspicious.”
Capt. Ken Sandage said while the grant used generally funds operations like alcohol compliance checks, the Sheriff’s Department is shifting its focus to encompass the way kids communicate today.
“Now it’s through the Internet. We need to ramp up and shift to electronics because that’s how these newer generations are communicating,” he said.
Furlong said the hazards for teens of meeting people online are numerous.
“People unknown to them are confronting them. It might be under the umbrella of a fun party, but you don’t know what drugs are being brought in, what alcohol is being brought in,” he said. “It’s not a huge problem here, but it’s certainly substantial enough to recognize.”