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Six men arrested in Clay County child enticement sting

Springfield (MO) KYTV logo Springfield (MO) KYTV 6/13/2022 Jackson Hicks
*NOTE: This is a stock photo. © Provided by Springfield (MO) KYTV *NOTE: This is a stock photo.

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - Six men have been arrested in Clay County following a child crimes sting between the Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security.

On Monday, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of six men for child sexual exploitation as part of Homeland Security’s Operation Blue Ghost.

According to authorities, the men traveled to Clay County to engage in “illicit sexual conduct” with what they thought was a 14-year-old girl they met online. In reality, the online accounts were being managed by members of the sheriff’s office. The men, several of which sent explicit pictures prior to meeting, were arrested when they arrived at a meet-up location. One man traveled from Springfield, Missouri.

Of the six arrested, five were charged in Clay County. One man traveled across state lines from Kansas and his arrest is being handled at the federal level. Clay County officials did not share his name.

One man involved in the sting hit a patrol deputy and fled as officers attempted to arrest him. The man, identified as 32-year-old Robert Koester of Springfield, backed a car into the deputy and pinned them between two vehicles and causing minor injuries to their knee. He also struck multiple patrol vehicles before fleeing, according to officials. Deputies pursued Koester until he struck a light pole on 210 Highway near Interstate 435.

Koester has been charged with enticement of a child, first degree assault on a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and drug possession. He is in custody in the Clay Count Detention Center.

Four other men were arrested and charged by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Jackie S. Sedgwick, 59, of Kansas City, Mo. – charged with sexual misconduct with a child under 15
  • Wildredo Sanabria-Recinos, 38, of Kansas City, Mo. – charged with sexual misconduct with a child under 15 and enticement of a child
  • Omar O. Lopez-Calderon, 26, of Kansas City, Mo. – charged with enticement of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
  • Jacob R. Miller, 31, of Gallatin, Mo. – charged with enticement of a child

The operation, which ran from May 17 to June 2 and involved multiple agencies across Kansas and Missouri, arrested 32 individuals in total. You can read more about the operation here.

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