CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Over a dozen men arrested in online enticement sting

May 20, 2019, 7:02 PM | Updated: May 21, 2019, 5:35 am

FILE - Jessica Farnsworth, commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, left, and ...

FILE - Jessica Farnsworth, commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, left, and Leo Lucey, chief of investigations for the Utah Attorney General's Office, right, speak at a press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Thirteen people were arrested last week, and more arrests are expected following an undercover operation by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

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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Over a dozen men arrested in online enticement sting