ST. GEORGE – Friday, St. George police arrested nine men on charges of patronizing a prostitute. Official reports on the arrests are pending, and specific details are not being released at this time, said St. George Police Capt. Kyle Whitehead with the Washington County Drug Task Force, which made the arrests. This is a developing story, and further details will be reported as we receive them.
Friday night, officers arrested Darrin Navas Odell, of Washington City; My Phung Tran, of St. George; Martin Fernando Garcia, of St. George; Joseph Dye, of Uintah; Robert Joseph Anderson, of Ivins; (name redacted – see ed. note), of Hurricane; (name redacted – see ed. note), of Cedar City; Travis Rhett Popp, of Heber City; and Nathan Arnold Phipps, of St. George. Each man was charged with one class-B misdemeanor for patronizing a prostitute, which is a violation of Utah Criminal Code 76-10-1303(1)(A).
Under the statute, a person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute if they pay, offer to pay or agree to pay another person for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act, according to information from the Utah State Legislature.
Each man was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility on bonds of $587 each. All but Garcia have since posted bail and been released from custody, according to information from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
This report will be updated as additional information is received.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Ed. notes: Oct. 30, 2016 – The name and photo of one of the nine has been redacted as the justice judge ordered his record expunged July 27, 2016. March 20, 2018 – The name and photo of a second of the nine has been redacted as the justice judge ordered his record expunged Jan. 1, 2017.
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