7 men convicted for sexual exploitation of a minor following Mohave County-led sting operations

ST. GEORGE — Over the past year, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting undercover sting operations that have thus far resulted in 15 arrests involving individuals who allegedly used the internet to lure minors for sexual exploitation.

L-R: Warren Mitchell Gillespie, James David Earnest, Daniel Eugene Martin, Durell Keith Shaw, Kevin Harry Moninger, George Stephen Lizotte and Justin Donald Harryman, booking photos | Photos courtesy of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The Sheriff’s Office released an update of the results of seven of those arrests Wednesday through a press release “in an effort to promote transparency.”

Each man was arrested on multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and was subsequently convicted. They have each received either jail or prison terms.

No minors were harmed during the sting operations, Anita Mortensen, spokeswoman for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, told St. George News Wednesday. Rather, undercover sheriff’s detectives posed as minors over the internet to draw out the suspects.

Those arrested and ultimately convicted through the efforts of the Sheriff’s Office include the following men:

Kevin Harry Moninger, 63, of Las Vegas, arrested Oct. 5, 2018. He was convicted by a jury on three counts of luring a minor under 15-years-old and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to serve 31 years in prison.

Durell Keith Shaw, 33, of Las Vegas, arrested Oct. 5, 2018. Shaw pleaded guilty to one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to eight years in prison with lifetime probation.

George Stephen Lizotte, 72, of Bullhead City, Arizona, was arrested Oct. 5, 2018. Lizotte pleaded guilty to one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor, receiving five years in prison and lifetime probation.

James David Earnest, 56, of Bullhead City, Arizona, was arrested April 10, 2019. Earnest pleaded guilty to one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He received five years in prison with lifetime probation and must register as a sex offender.

Justin Donald Harryman, 39, of Kingman, Arizona, was arrested April 19, 2019. Harryman pleaded guilty to one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. He was sentenced to serve five years in prison with 46 years supervised probation.

Warren Mitchell Gillespie, 45, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was arrested April 19, 2019. He pleaded guilty to one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted commercial sexual exploitation of a minor. He was sentenced to five years in prison with lifetime probation.

Daniel Eugene Martin, 33, of Lake Havasu City, was arrested April 10, 2019. Martin pleaded guilty to one count of attempted luring a minor for sexual exploitation. He received one year of jail time and 15 years supervised probation.

The remaining eight individuals arrested during the sting operations have not yet been convicted, the Sheriff’s Office stated in the press release.

The sting operations were conducted with the full support and cooperation of the Lake Havasu Police Department, Kingman Police Department, Bullhead City Police Department, the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations Unit and the Mohave County Attorney’s Office.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office wishes to remind parents to monitor the internet use of their children and lessen their social media use, as well as to be in constant communication, Mortensen said.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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