Two local men were arrested in separate incidents late last week as part of a multi-agency human trafficking, child sex exploitation and prostitution operation in the town of Eads, about 130 miles east of Colorado Springs.

Luis Hernandez, 27, of Fountain, and Joshua Olmstead, 38, of Colorado Springs, are being held without bond at the Bent County Detention Facility, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the operation with the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.

Hernandez was identified by undercover officers in Eads late Friday night after he allegedly attempted to participate in human trafficking activities involving a minor. He fled in a car, narrowly missed striking an undercover agent, before being caught after leading law enforcement on a chase along Colorado 287.

Hernandez is being held on charges including human trafficking, felony eluding and reckless driving.

Also Friday evening, undercover officers arrested Olmstead after he allegedly expressed interest in engaging in sexual contact with a minor.

Olmstead faces charges of soliciting for child prostitution.

“It’s important to note that human trafficking knows no geographic boundaries,” Kiowa County Sheriff Casey Sheridan said in a statement. “These illegal activities occur in towns and cities big and small, and it’s critical that we all work together to protect children in our communities.”

Eads is the most populous town in Kiowa County, with about 600 residents.


Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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