ST. GEORGE – Four individuals were arrested Thursday in for alleged sexual solicitation and other charges as a part of a vice operation by the St. George Police Department.
Arrests were made throughout the day, but were all of a part of the same operation, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said Friday. Three of the arrests involved individuals from the Las Vegas area, while the fourth involved a woman from Denver.
“”We work these operations from time to time,” Despain said, adding that such operations are seemingly random in order to prevent any measure of potential predictability. “We try to be consistently inconsistent.”
As for prostitution in general, he said, “It’s here and it’s an issue we take very seriously and deal with.”
An investigation into online ads believed to be advertising sex for money led to a sting operation at a local hotel Thursday afternoon, according to probable cause statements written by St. George Police Officers Matthew Sherman and Joseph Watson.
A meeting was arranged with a woman connected to the online ad and an undercover officer to meet at a St. George area motel to exchange money for sexual acts. The woman also offered therapeutic massage services for money. The woman is neither a state-licensed massage therapist, nor does she possess a city-issued business license, Watson wrote in the report.
The woman was identified as 19-year-old Uniqui Bradley, of Las Vegas. She was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on two class B misdemeanors for sexual solicitation and conducting business without a business license, and one class A misdemeanor related to operating a massage parlor with a license. Her bail currently stands at $3,117.
Bradley was allegedly brought from Las Vegas to St. George by vehicle driven by 43-year-old Ricky R. Williams, also of Las Vegas, who the probable cause statement refers to as Bradley’s possible “pimp,” Sherman wrote.
Officers watching the area around the motel witnessed a woman, later identified as Bradley, get out of a car and make contact with the undercover officer. The vehicle was reported to be driven by an adult man who police contacted at the motel and identified as Williams. He said he was at the motel to pick up a woman. According to the probable cause statement, after being given his Miranda rights, Williams admitted to having driven Bradley from Las Vegas to St. George.
St. George Police contacted the Las Vegas Metro Police’s Vice Unit and learned both Williams and Bradley are known to the unit and “had previous contact with them in Las Vegas in relation to prostitution investigations,” Sherman wrote.
Williams was also booked into the county jail and charged with a third-degree felony count of exploiting a prostitute. His bail currently stands at $5,000.
In a similar incident during the same undercover operation, 21-year-old Natasha Deniss Jones, of Las Vegas, was arrested for alleged sexual solicitation and other charges, according to a probable cause statement, also written by Watson. A substance believed to be marijuana and associated paraphernalia were also found in the motel room Jones had rented. Like Bradley, Jones also did not have a required business license for particular services offered.
Jones was charged with a class A misdemeanor for sexual solicitation, which was enhanced due to a prior conviction, as well as a two other class A misdemeanors for drug possession and drug paraphernalia, also enhanced due to being within 1,000 feet of a school. She was also charged with a class B misdemeanor for not having a business license. She has been booked into the county jail with bail currently set at $6,416.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested Julie Anne Goodwin on Thursday night for sexual solicitation and not having a required business license, both class B misdemeanors, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s booking website. Her bail currently stands at $1,174.
Though all were arrested as a part of the same operation, Despain said neither Jones or Goodwin were connected to Williams and Bradley.
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. Note: Information connecting the arrests has been updated following the publication of the original story.
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