Rankin Co. traffic stop ends with man being arrested for kidnapping, child exploitation
RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Reckless driving has landed one man behind bars on charges of kidnapping, child exploitation, and enticement of a child for sexual purposes.
December 30, 24-year-old Oliver Diaz Gutierrez, of Houston, was pulled over by the Rankin County Interdiction team after he was noticed driving recklessly along I-20 near Pelahatchie.
At the time, deputies said he was accompanied by a young woman.
Gutierrez told deputies his passenger was his “20-year-old friend” and that they were on their way to Tennessee.
The passenger, who turned out to be a 15-year-old child he had contacted online, told deputies Gutierrez had picked her up in Tennessee and the two had been together for about nine hours.
“After hearing that their stories were not matching up, the deputy asked for and was granted permission to search the vehicle. the deputy was able to locate identification for the female... (and was) able to determine that she was, in fact, a 15-year-old from Tennesee,” according to a release from the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office.
A Rankin County juvenile investigator was called to the scene and the two were taken to the sheriff’s office for further questioning.
Officers from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and FBI Human Trafficking Task Force were present during that questioning, the release states.
The child’s parents were contacted and she is now safely back home.
The parents did not know she was missing at the time, and Gutierrez had allegedly picked up the girl while her parents were at work, RCSO Legal Counsel Paul Holley said.
As for Gutierrez, he is behind bars at the Rankin County Detention Center and has been denied bond.
“This investigation is ongoing to determine the full scope of this act as well as trying to determine if others are involved or in danger,” the release states.
Sheriff Bryan Bailey praised the experience and the quick thinking of the interdiction deputy, as well as the work of investigators.
He also thanked Attorney General Lynn Fitch and the FBI for their assistance.
“The safety of our children is of the utmost importance and we will continue to use all available resources to go after those that prey upon our children,” the release states.
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