PRESS RELEASE | Utah County Sheriff’s Office
February 21, 2019: Over the past several years Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit have encountered increasing numbers of cases of human trafficking and sex trafficking. They have tried to give this problem more attention, but they must still work their regular caseloads. T
In July 2018 Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and Lehi Police conducted an undercover operation. In this operation 18 different people responded to an ad placed in a social media platform, arranging to meet what they believed to be prostitutes. Charges included prostitution, a class B misdemeanor, and patronizing a prostitute, a class A misdemeanor. Those charged with patronizing a prostitute were arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail. Those charged with prostitution received a citation and were released. During this operation in July Detectives identified a 16-year-old Utah County juvenile who was a victim of human trafficking. That juvenile is currently with family and is receiving appropriate services.
In January 2019 Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit requested and received additional grant funding. Around February 14, 2019, with Detectives from Lehi Police Department, they conducted another undercover operation aimed at uncovering human trafficking operations. During that operation 23 people were arrested or received citations.
Two suspects in this operation, Richard Michael Martin, age 29, of Riverton, and David N. Moss, age 51, of Lehi, were identified yesterday in a release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Martin was booked into jail on 9 counts of enticing a minor over the internet, all 2nd degree felonies. He is also being investigated for charges related to possessing child pornography. Moss was booked into jail on charges of exploiting a prostitute, a 3rd degree felony, and misdemeanor charges of sexual battery, patronizing a prostitute, and two counts of lewdness. Others charged in this case were booked into jail if they were charged with patronizing a prostitute, or they were released with a citation if they were charged with prostitution.
Officials with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said many, if not all, of the arrests in these cases, 41 people total, would not have happened were it not for this funding. Day to day operations of the Special Victims Task Force
Pictured in the photo are, from left to right, Jon Lines, President of Operations – Operation Underground Railroad; Sheriff Mike Smith, Utah County Sheriff; Undersheriff Shaun Bufton; Chief Deputy Mike Brower; and Lieutenant Erik Knutzen.
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