AP NEWS

Lehi man, Riverton man arrested in undercover operation; police concerned there might be other victims

February 20, 2019
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David Moss

Two men were arrested in Utah County during a joint undercover operation by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the Lehi Police Department and the Special Victim’s Task Force, one of whom was a former police lieutenant.

According to the Utah County Sherriff’s Office, undercover detectives made contact with 29-year-old Richard Michael Martin of Riverton and 51-year-old David N. Moss of Lehi through social media as part of that operation, which was originally targeting human trafficking.

Detectives established contact on social media with Martin on Feb. 12, and Martin reportedly believed he was talking to a mother of 12- and 6-year-old girls. According to the UCSO, Martin described wanting to engage in oral sex with both girls and other sexual acts with the 6-year-old. Martin also reportedly told the undercover detective that he wanted both girls to perform oral sex on him.

The UCSO said that as part of a previous case, detectives made social media contact with Martin in 2016, when he believed he was communicating with a 13-year-old girl. In that conversation, he reportedly described wanting to engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the girl. At that time, detectives were unable to meet in person with Martin.

Detectives met with Martin in Utah County Thursday, and during the meeting, Martin reportedly admitted to the information discussed in both social media conversations, according to the UCSO.

Martin was reportedly also in possession of video recording depicting graphic child pornography involving young children and infants, according to a press release from the UCSO.

“Because of the quantity and nature of this material Detectives will refer portions of their investigation for possible Federal charges,” the UCSO stated.

Martin was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of nine second-degree felony counts of enticing a minor by internet or text. According to the UCSO, Martin had previously been arrested on similar charges in Kentucky in 2009.

The same day as the meeting with Martin, detectives in the same undercover operation made contact with Moss online. Moss reportedly used the name “Pilot” in his online interactions.

During those social media conversations with detectives, who Moss believed to be prostitutes, Moss allegedly said that he could “manage” them, not as a “pimp,” but in a way that would “help them avoid getting caught.”

According to the UCSO, he told the undercover detectives that he would help protect them, help them avoid police, help them with bookings and that they would “entertain.”

When asked if he had previous experience, he told the undercover detectives that he had “run” other girls before, according to the UCSO. He also reportedly discussed prices after detectives sent photos to Moss.

Detectives were able to organize a meeting with Moss in Utah County. The UCSO said that at the meeting he showed the undercover detectives money and told them that he was “not opposed to paying.”

While talking to the undercover detectives, the UCSO says that Moss grabbed the hand of one of the detectives and forcibly put it on his genitals over his pants. He reportedly also unzipped his pants and exposed his genitals to the two detectives.

After detectives followed up on evidence, Moss was arrested at his home in Lehi Monday.

According to the UCSO, Moss admitted to most of the information he discussed with detectives, but denied having any experience in “managing” other girls.

Moss was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of the third-degree felony charge of exploiting a prostitute, as well as two class A misdemeanors of patronizing a prostitute and sexual battery. He was also booked on suspicion of two counts of the class B misdemeanor of lewdness. Bail was set for Moss at $10,260.

The UCSO says that they are concerned that Moss may have additional victims. Moss was previously employed as a lieutenant with the St. George Police Department where he supervised the Vice Squad, and recently served as a leader of a local religious congregation, according to the UCSO. Officials believe that he may have had contact with vulnerable individuals through both of those positions.

The UCSO is asking anyone who may have had involvement of that nature with Moss to contact investigators at (801) 851-4010.