ST. GEORGE — A seventh man has been arrested in connection with a multiagency law enforcement operation in Southern Utah involving men allegedly conspiring to commit child rape.
In addition to the arrest of six other men, 46-year-old Eugene Alvarado Jr., of Sunnyvale, California, was arrested Monday afternoon on two first-degree felony counts of attempted child rape, two second-degree felony counts of attempted aggravated kidnapping and two third-degree felony counts of dealing harmful materials to minor.
Alvarado traveled from California to Southern Utah Monday to meet two 13-year-old girls, Parowan Police Chief Ken Carpenter said in an updated statement, adding:
He convinced them to run away from their home and he was going to take them back to California.
Alvarado also allegedly talked about having sexual intercourse with the 13-year-old girls and used the internet to send the confidential informants pornographic images, police said.
Alvarado was taken in to custody without incident and was booked in to the Iron County jail.
Six other men were arrested as part of the child sex sting, including St. George Army recruiter Jason Livermore, 30, and Floyd Jennings, 71, both of St. George; James Garrelts, 53, of Cedar City; Trevor Bodily, 31, of Clearfield; Carlos Valenzuela Nunez, 30, of Enterprise; and Phillip Gerstner, 30, of Jerome, Idaho.
The men traveled to the area after separately responding to an ad placed on “websites known to produce child trafficking activities and child predators,” authorities said Sunday. The men were each arrested after arriving at an undisclosed location in northern Iron County to meet 13-year-old girls with whom they had allegedly arranged to have sex.
“In a joint operation using a confidential informant an ad was placed on various social media websites. The ad had a picture of two young females with a phone number and a link to other sites,” Carpenter said in a statement, noting:
The suspects contacted the number and exchanged several phone conversations or text messages with the CI. In the conversations the CI made it clear they would be having sex with one or more 13-year-old children. The suspects agreed to the terms for location, time and payment and requested one or both 13-year-old girls.
Livermore was arrested Thursday and charged with two first-degree felony counts of criminal solicitation involving conspiracy to commit child rape and forcible sodomy and a second-degree felony count of enticing a minor by internet.
Jennings, Garrelts and Bodily were arrested and booked into jail on two first-degree felony counts each of conspiracy to commit child rape, according to police. Bodily also was booked on a misdemeanor count of failing to stop at the command of a peace officer.
Nunez and Gerstner were arrested and booked on one first-degree felony count each of conspiracy to commit child rape, according to police.
The joint criminal operation was conducted by the Parowan Police Department, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Iron County Attorney’s Office, Iron-Garfield-Beaver Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigation, Utah Highway Patrol and Veterans for Child Rescue.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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