Local Internet Sting Operation Nets Several Arrests

Several arrests have been made in Mesa County after a multi-agency sting operation uncovered alleged sex predators that were taking aim at what they thought were children.

The internet sting operation uncovered 64 people from all over the world that were using chat rooms to lure juveniles. Six agencies worked together to complete this investigation.

The District Attorney's Office and Colorado Bureau of Investigation teamed up with local, state and county law enforcement. Here's how the sting worked: investigators posed as boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 14 chatting online for four days, eight hours a day. Officials say they were alarmed at how quickly predators made contact with what they thought to be young children.

This sting has uncovered 21 cases of sexual luring in the state of Colorado, three of which were in Mesa County. John Merritt is one of the suspects but is not in custody at this time. Nathanael Metzler, is in custody with $100,000 bond, and David Landin, has bond set at $50,000.

All men face child enticement charges. A total of 28 people will be going through the Mesa County court system for this crime.

The investigation is ongoing, and officials say that while they uncovered 64 cases during the four day sting, they do expect to come across more.