Within a week, two men were arrested on separate charges of soliciting minors in Mitchell.
Their cases aren't related, Mitchell police said this week, but both men now face at least one felony sex offense charge.
Lance Bult, 46, of Corsica, was arrested on Aug. 8 following a nearly six-month-long investigation by Mitchell police. Last week, Bult was charged not only with solicitation of a minor, but with possession, distribution or manufacturing of child pornography, which, like solicitation, is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
"We're very aggressive in following up with those types of cases," Mitchell Detective Lt. Don Everson said. "Not that we don't investigate every case, but if someone's preying on minors sexually, we want them in jail."
Bult is accused of sending messages, photos and videos of a sexual nature to a juvenile male and receiving the same from that juvenile between Oct. 18 and Feb. 11. Included in these were requests by Bult to meet with the boy to perform sexual acts.
The investigation into Bult's case began on Feb. 15. Everson said that between locating the people involved, gathering and analyzing forensic evidence and dealing with other cases, it's not unusual for investigations such as these to take multiple months.
"Just depending on what else is going on and what the priorities are of the day, sometimes things get pushed back until we have time to look into it further," Everson said.
In a separate case, Anthony VanEverdingen, 27, of Mitchell, is accused of Snapchatting a 14-year-old girl at 1 a.m. on Aug. 2. According to court documents, during that conversation, VanEverdingen solicited the girl and asked her to sneak out of her house to meet him. The conversation was reportedly photographed.
Reportedly, VanEverdingen knew that the girl was 14 years old because he had prior contact with her.
The time between police being alerted about the alleged offense and an arrest was significantly shorter in VanEveringden's case than in Bult's, as VanEverdingen was arrested on Aug. 2. He was released on a $4,000 bond on Aug. 6.