Four arrested in prostitution ring investigation in Southern Utah
There have been additional charges and a clarification in the case of a prostitution ring broken up in St. George last Friday.
In an initial statement from St. George police it was mistakenly reported that the juvenile involved the alleged prostitution ring had been arrested and charged.
Tuesday, authorities clarified that the 17-year-old was in fact “approached as, and interviewed as a victim;” that “through intimidation and/or fear, she was compelled and persuaded to perform acts of prostitution.”
The girl was taken for several hours to a youth crisis center until legal guardians arrived from out-of-state to pick her up, but she was never under arrest.
As a result of the on-going investigation and a search of the motel room where the group was staying, 20-year-old Francis Uhrhan and 30-year-old Leroy Haley, both of Las Vegas have been charged with drug possession and possession to distribute charges in addition to the human trafficking and exploitation charges. Haley is also charged with assaulting his arresting officers.
August 26: A sting operation has resulted the takedown of a prostitution ring in Southern Utah.
Because this case involved a juvenile transported across state lines for the purposes of prostitution The U.S. Department of Homeland Security assisted with the investigation.
Detectives with the St. George Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security investigations conducted the sting based on information from an ongoing investigation that suggested adult males were allegedly involved in patronizing prostitutes in the area.
Four men- two from St. George and two from Las Vegas- were taken into custody on solicitation and other charges. A juvenile female was also arrested.