UTAH STATE CAPITOL – Thirteen men from all over Utah are arrested during an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force sting. Investigators say they all thought they were going to meet minors for sex, but they were talking with agents, all along.
“The good news is that no children were actually harmed,” according to Attorney General Sean Reyes.
However, he says the bad news is that there has been an incredibly high number of calls coming in about children either being enticed or abused by people they’ve met online. He believes the summer break is a good time for parents to talk with kids about the dangers of meeting strangers.
“We need to know as best as we can what our children are browsing, surfing, posting, pinning, texting or chatting. I know that’s a lot harder than it sounds,” he says, adding, “I want to underscore that very good sites and good businesses could be exploited by devious predators.”
Utah County hosted the sting, but, ICAC Task Force Commander Jessica Farnsworth believes they would have had the same results no matter where it happened.
The suspects include:
Timothy Lavell Dickerson, Taylorsville
Steven Bruce Holmberg, Springville
Tysen Aric Toone, Orem
Tylor Normand Berube, Layton
Matias Ignacio Kandalaft-Ruminot, Orem
Lehi Spencer Santiago-Lastra, Provo
Kelly Glen Herring, Magna
Jared Richard Park, Provo
Carlos Portillo, Provo
Alberto Andrade, Provo
Adam Peter Friel, Provo
Between them, they’re facing 48 counts, overall.
Officials from ICAC say this year has been extremely bad in terms of the amount of child pornography and the number of people trying to solicit minors online. Farnsworth says there were 916 referrals from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which led to 226 arrests.
“To put it in perspective, in the last three months, we have received 807 referrals from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” she says, adding, “There have been 121 children that have suffered being sexually abused in the last three months.”
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