(KUTV) — Two men, including a former St. George police lieutenant, were arrested during an undercover human trafficking investigation, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
On February 14, undercover detectives were posing as prostitutes while establishing a relationship with a suspect on social media.
During the conversations, David N. Moss, 51 of Lehi, told them he could “manage” them, not as a “pimp” but to help them avoid getting caught by law enforcement.
Police say Moss claimed he had “run” other girls before so he could protect them and help them.
When they met in person, Moss showed the undercover detectives money and said, “I am not opposed to paying,” the sheriff’s office reported.
Moss also grabbed the hand of one of the detectives and put it over his genitals on his pants. He then allegedly unzipped his pants and exposed himself to the two detectives.
Law enforcement arrested Moss on February 19. He denied “managing” other girls, but admitted to most of the information discussed during the encounter on Valentine’s Day, police say.
He was booked into jail on the following charges: exploiting a prostitute; patronizing a prostitute; sexual battery; and two counts of lewdness.Moss is being held on a $10,260 cash or bond.
Moss resigned his employment as a lieutenant with the St. George Police Department, according to the sheriff’s office. He supervised the Vice Squad and also served as a leader in his religious congregation.
Police believe his two positions of authority may have allowed Moss to contact vulnerable individuals. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who had involvement of this nature with Moss to contact investigators at 801-851-4010.
On February 14, law enforcement reconnected with another human trafficking suspect on social media. They posed as a mother of 12 and 6-year-old girls. Richard Michael Martin, 29 of Riverton described in detail to the supposed mother how he wanted to have sexual relations with the two minors, a press release stated.
During an undercover investigation in 2016, detectives made contact with Martin on May 9 via social media.
They posed as a 13-year-old girl. Police say the suspect described how he wanted to engage in sexual intercourse with the girl. However, they were unable to arrange a meeting with him until they reconnected on social media in 2019.
On February 14, Martin arranged to meet the undercover detective in Utah County. During the encounter, Martin admitted to sending the information he sent over social media about wanting to have sexual relations with the two young girls.
Detectives also found obscene child pornography in Martin’s possession.
He 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 a $30,000 cash or bond, according to the sheriff’s office. In 2009, Martin was arrested for similar charges in Kentucky.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Special Victims Task Force and detectives with the Lehi Police Department were apart of the undercover human trafficking investigation.