CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Bountiful man arrested for enticing a minor after vigilante group ‘Predator Poachers’ tipped police

Apr 8, 2024, 9:00 PM

David Smoot’s place of residence....

David Smoot’s place of residence. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

BOUNTIFUL — A 55-year-old man was arrested Sunday by West Bountiful police after a vigilante group, called Predator Poachers, tipped them to evidence of child sexual abuse materials that the man owned, among other child sexual abuse allegations.

According to the arrest document, Predator Poachers had been posing online as an 11-year-old girl, “Emily,” for a period of two months. Alex Rosen, Predator Poachers founder, gave police a printout of messages sent back and forth between “Emily,” and the man suspected of having sexual abuse materials, David Smoot.

The document states the printout began with a message from Smoot on Feb. 7, asking the girl if she wanted to be friends. A Predator Poachers employee responded by saying “Hello I am 11.” Smoot then began asking the disguised account sexually charged questions and explaining sexual acts.

“Several times throughout the printout David asked for her address and to meet up,” the document states.

Before police were involved, the court document details a visit that Predator Poachers made to Smoot’s residence on Sunday morning, before the arrest. They conducted a recorded interview, which was reviewed later by police. In the interview, Rosen reassured Smoot that speaking with them was voluntary.

Smoot then was recorded acknowledging some of the inappropriate sexual conversations he’d had with “Emily.” He also admitted he spoke to other young girls on the internet, including one he received child sexual abuse images from over Skype. He also admitted to receiving 40 or 50 explicit pictures of young girls, from someone who had “gathered them from the dark web,” the document states.

When asked if Smoot approached “Emily,” asking if she wanted to have sex with him, he acknowledged that he did, but “was waiting until she was older.”

Read the entire story from KSL TV here.

 

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Bountiful man arrested for enticing a minor after vigilante group ‘Predator Poachers’ tipped police