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Operation Undertow: Police arrest 22, including pastor, in child sex sting

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Local law enforcement officials have arrested 22 people during an undercover sting operation targeting adults who used the internet to solicit sex with children.

The arrests were announced at a multi-agency press conference at the Pensacola Police Department Sept. 14. The individuals taken into custody were mostly from Pensacola, but the pool of suspects also included men from Alabama, Mississippi and a pastor from Pace.

The sting, dubbed "Operation Undertow," took place from Sept. 7 to 11. According to the PPD, undercover agents posed as teenagers on various websites and were contacted by suspects who agreed to meet the "teens" for sex. The suspects were arrested when they arrived at the arranged meeting location.

"This effort of arresting and prosecuting these individuals helps to stop future abuse," Pensacola Chief of Police David Alexander said at the press conference. "This was five days of hard work for our officers, dispatchers, support personnel and personnel from other agencies."

Operation Undertow: Pastor among 22 arrested in child sex sting

Those arrested include:

  • David Donald Hoppenjan, 52, a pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Pace. According to his arrest report, Hoppenjan allegedly traveled to two locations with the intention of having intercourse with a 14-year-old boy.
  • Calvin James Pearson, 31, and David Oloms, 24, both of Pensacola, who allegedly traveled together to have intercourse with who they believed to be a 14-year-old girl. Oloms reportedly consented to a search of his vehicle, and investigators found "a luggage bag full of various sex equipment, bondage and sadomasochistic equipment," according to their arrest reports.
  • Bradly Davis Jones, 46, who was allegedly carrying a baggie of methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe when he arrived to have intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. While arranging the meeting with undercover investigators, Jones allegedly wrote, "I'm the only one who could potentially do anything illegal, but I'm not ashamed of anything I do, and I'm willing to suffer any consequences I deserve."

State Attorney Bill Eddins said at the press conference that depending on their charges, the individuals arrested in the sting could face between five years and life in prison. Alexander said law enforcement agencies are still following leads, and more arrests might be forthcoming.

The Pensacola Police Department, in coordination with the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, worked the investigation with the following agencies: Escambia County, Walton County, Okaloosa County and Brevard County sheriff’s offices; State Attorney’s Office; Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Homeland Security; U.S. Marshal’s Service; Gainesville, Tallahassee, Gulf Breeze, Panama City and Cocoa police departments; Escambia Jail; and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The full list of individuals arrested in the operation thus far:

Grayson Blanton, 18, 400 block of Roberts Avenue, Pensacola, Fla.
Alexander Croyle, 22, 400 block of Roberts Avenue, Pensacola, Fla.
Alfred Foster, 71, 1200 block of South Sutton Trace Court, Mobile, Ala.
Christopher Foster, 24, 10100 block of Weldwood Drive, Meridian, Miss.
Devin Gilchris, 21, 200 block of Ruby Avenue, Pensacola, Fla.
Adelardo Gonzales, 51, 200 block of Aquamarine Avenue, Pensacola, Fla.
Jeff Harrison, 26, first block of East Pearl Avenue, Pensacola, Fla.
Justin Hill, 28, 700 block of East Fairfield Drive, Pensacola, Fla.
David Hoppenjan, 52, 5600 block of Thistledown Court, Pace, Fla.
Erik Huber, 29, 300 block of MacArthur Avenue, Biloxi, Miss.
Alex Johnson, 19, 4800 block of Chumuckla Highway, Pace, Fla.
Mison Johnson, 22, 2900 block of Patch Avenue, Crestview, Fla.
Bradly Jones, 46, 21200 block of Deer Circle, Lake View, Ala.
Darius Lambert, 33, 400 block of Evening Falls Drive, Pensacola, Fla.
Claudio Mistri, 56, 7100 block of North Blue Angel Parkway, Pensacola, Fla.
David Olmos, 24, 8800 block of Pine Forest Road, Pensacola, Fla.
Calvin Pearson, 31, 300 block of West Ensley Street, Pensacola, Fla.
Charles Phillips, 53, 9200 block of Bellingrath Road, Mobile, Ala.
Jose Ramirez-Magos, 51, 7000 block of West Lee Circle, Irvington, Ala.
Frank Rhobotham, 68, 1500 block of East Blount Street, Pensacola, Fla.
Jackson Silliman, 21, 3300 block of Silkwood Lane, Pace, Fla.
John Staples, 24, 9500 block of Hay Meadow Road, Milton, Fla.

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