Detectives made two arrests during an undercover operation targeting human trafficking. A Riverton man and a Lehi man were arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail.
*** PRESS RELEASE *** February 20, 2019: On February 14, 2019, Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Special Victims Task Force, and Detectives with Lehi Police Department, conducted undercover operations aimed at targeting human trafficking. In a previous case Detectives working undercover established social media contact with a suspect on May 9, 2016. In that contact the suspect, believing he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl, described wanting to engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex with that girl. While the suspect was identified in that situation, Detectives were unable to arrange a meeting. On February 12, 2019, undercover Detectives again established social media contact with that suspect, identified as Richard Michael Martin, age 29, of Riverton. In this case Martin believed he was talking to a woman who was the mother of 12 and 6-year-old girls. Martin described wanting to engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the 12-year-old and oral sex and digital penetration with the 6-year-old. Martin also said to the undercover Detective he wanted the 12 and 6-year-old to perform oral sex on him.
On February 14, 2019, Martin arranged to meet the undercover Detective at a location in Utah County. During this contact Detectives interviewed Martin and he admitted the information he discussed in the two previous social media contacts regarding his desired actions with the 12 and 6-year-old girls. During their investigation Detectives found that Martin was in possession of video recordings of extremely graphic child pornography involving very young children and infants. Because of the quantity and nature of this material Detectives will refer portions of their investigation for possible Federal charges. Martin was booked into the Utah County Jail on nine 2nd degree felony counts of enticing a minor by internet or text. He is being held on $30,000.00 cash or bond. Martin has a previous arrest for similar charges in Kentucky in 2009.
Also on February 14, 2019, as part of this same human trafficking investigation, two undercover Detectives established separate social media contact with a man who used the name “Pilot”. Detectives were able to identify “Pilot” as David N. Moss, age 51, of Lehi. During the conversations with the undercover Detectives, who Moss believed to be prostitutes, he described that he could “manage” them, not as a “pimp”, but to help them avoid getting caught. He described how he could protect them, help them avoid police, and that he would take care of booking and they would “entertain”. Moss told them he had “run” other girls when they asked if he had previous experience managing girls. Detectives sent photos to Moss after which they discussed prices and arranged to meet at a location in Utah County. During this meeting Moss showed the undercover Detectives money and said, “I am not opposed to paying.” Moss also talked to them about avoiding police. During this part of the conversation Moss grabbed the hand of one of the Detectives and forcibly put it on his genitals over his pants. He then unzipped his pants and exposed his genitals to the two Detectives.
Moss was released on that day and Detectives followed up on evidence they had collected. On February 19, 2019, Detectives went to Moss’s home in Lehi and arrested him. During an interview Moss admitted most of the information he discussed with the undercover Detectives. He denied, however, ever having any involvement “managing” other girls. Moss was booked into the Utah County Jail on the following charges: Exploiting a prostitute, 3rd degree felony; patronizing a prostitute, class A misdemeanor; sexual battery, class A misdemeanor; and two counts of lewdness, class B misdemeanor. Bail for Moss has been set at $10,260.00 cash or bond.
During this investigation Detectives became concerned that Moss may have other victims they were not aware of. Moss resigned his employment as a Lieutenant with St. George Police Department, where he supervised the Vice Squad and would have had contact with vulnerable individuals who could easily be exploited. Additionally, Moss has recently served as a leader of a local religious congregation, which also allowed him contact with vulnerable individuals who could be exploited. Because he told the undercover Detectives he had “run” other girls, they ask that anyone who may have had involvement of this nature with Moss to contact investigators with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office at (801)851-4010.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: @SGTCannonPIO or @UCSO