Broomfield Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison in Human Trafficking Related Case
Press Release Distributed in Conjunction with FBI Denver Division:
Brighton, CO — On March 1, 2022, Steven Allen Contee was sentenced to 20 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. The FBI Denver Division worked jointly with the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Colorado to investigate and prosecute the case. Contee, of Broomfield, was arrested in March 2020 and was charged with multiple counts of Human Trafficking of a Minor for Sexual Servitude; Human Trafficking of a Minor for Involuntary Servitude; Distribution of a Controlled Substance to a Minor, Schedule 1; Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender; and Human Trafficking of an Adult for Involuntary Servitude. He would lure vulnerable minor boys who were homeless to work for his construction business, and then provide them drugs and commercially sexually exploit them. On October 25, 2021, Contee pleaded guilty in Adams County District Court to Unlawful Sexual Contact and Distribution of a Controlled Substance to a Minor.
During the sentencing, a victim provided his impact statement: “I saw how he targeted us, he would use drugs to manipulate…he would force us into things that were awful and we all complied because if you don’t do as Steve says, there [are] always violent consequences.” An advocate read a statement for a victim, “My time with Steven I genuinely thought I would die soon because everyone Steven put around me, all of it made us feel unsafe. He always kept me high on drugs because he saw he could take advantage of me when I was high and easily control me. I remember one time when he couldn’t control me he dragged me to a field and held a gun to my head, so it became easier to just do what he said.” The victim ended with, “Ideally, I would like three life sentences for the three lives he messed up. I know this isn’t possible, but he deserves it.”
Judge Robert W. Kiesnowski, Jr. indicated when speaking to Mr. Contee, “Although you are well spoken and bright, your personality is sociopathic. You caught these victims in your web…. You left a path of wreckage for these people. Only thing I can do is make you pay with years of your life and it still won’t fill the holes for these victims. The public needs to know if someone is going to do this, there will be severe consequences.”
“There is no work more important than combating the exploitation and victimization of children,” stated FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael H. Schneider. “With the sentencing of Steven Contee, the FBI has removed a child predator from our community. We want to thank our local and state law enforcement partners, as well as From Silenced to Saved, a non-governmental organization, for their excellent work on this case.”
The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which serves Adams and Broomfield Counties, is a member of the Human Trafficking Multidisciplinary Team (HT MDT) made up of local, state, regional, and federal partners including the FBI Denver Division. The HT MDT is responsible for identifying individuals who are at high risk of being trafficked. Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said, “This case illustrates the importance of the Human Trafficking Multidisciplinary Team partnership. Had it not been for the HT MDT, this defendant would still be victimizing people in our community. This outcome is the result of successful community and inter-agency partnerships that are meant to identify and prosecute those who target our most vulnerable citizens.”
# # #
District Attorney Mason assumed the oath of office on January 12, 2021. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office endeavors to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Adams and Broomfield counties in felony and misdemeanor cases. DA Mason and his staff are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system to better serve the citizens of the 17th Judicial District.
Ms. Gazelka is a forensic therapist and clinician in Denver, Colorado. She is currently focused on providing therapy and assessment services to adult offenders in the community corrections and parole systems as a supervisor at Correctional Psychology Associates (CPA). Her education and career have been devoted to the intersection of psychology and law since 2000. Ms. Gazelka has been working within the field of forensic and correctional psychology since 2006, providing therapy in the community and acute mental health care and risk assessments in county jails. She has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor since June 2012. She also became a Licensed Addiction Counselor in March 2014. She was listed as a full operating level DVOMB Approved Provider in June 2019 and started a fledgling DV program oriented to Colorado’s Department of Corrections at CPA in September 2019. Ms. Gazelka was appointed to the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) in March 2019 and has started her second term with the board. Ms. Gazelka has been recognized for her work as Contributor of the Year at CPA in 2010 and 2012, as well as having been awarded an Alumni Impact Award for her forensic work in the community by University of Denver’s GSPP in 2019. Ms. Gazelka received her Master of Arts degree in Forensic Clinical Psychology from University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2009. Ms. Gazelka also received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, obtaining attorney’s licenses in both Minnesota and Colorado (currently inactive).
Alex Castro Croy
Alex Castro Croy is a bilingual, bicultural, Trauma and Addiction Counselor and owner/Lead Clinician of Life Recovery Centers in Denver and Northglenn Colorado.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico who accomplished his dream in higher education receiving an AA in Pastoral Ministry (Dallas, Texas), Bachelor of Science in Human Services (MSU in Denver, Colorado) and MA in Community Counseling from Regis University (Denver, Co). He is continuing to pursue his MA/Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.
Alex’s passion includes training, teaching, counseling, and consulting. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the Human Services Department at MSU-Denver for 9 years. He has served as an Interventionist for the Latino GLBTQ community, Drug Court Probation Officer at Denver Juvenile Court Probation (8 years), Bilingual Diversion Officer for Denver DA office (5 years), and currently owner and director of Life Recovery Centers (7 years). He has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and his eclectic therapeutic interventions have proven to be effective in treating trauma and addiction.
Thea Wessel is an addictions counselor with a private practice in Colorado. She has been working in the criminal and addiction fields for thirteen years. Ms. Wessel earned her Masters in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and has her LPC, LAC, MAC, NCAAC, and ADS. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Ms. Wessel continually challenges herself and others to provide quality addiction treatment and ways to continue to educate the community about addiction issues.