26 people arrested in Utah County human trafficking sting

Shane Craig Smith. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Jail

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 25, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A total of 26 people were arrested in a three-day human trafficking sting in Lehi last week.

“On Nov. 19-21, the Utah County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit, the Lehi City Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security — Investigations, partnered with Operation Underground Railroad to conduct a human trafficking operation in Lehi,” said a news release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Other participating agencies included Unified Police Department, Salt Lake City Police Department and the Provo Police Department.

“During the three-day operation, officers arrested 26 people who were involved in human trafficking,” the news release said. “Several of these arrests involved individuals that arrived at the location with the intent to have sexual relations with children under the age of 18.”

One of those arrested was Shane Smith, 26, of Murray. He now faces charges of enticement of a minor over the Internet, exploitation of a minor and attempted aggravated kidnapping of a minor.

Police say at the time of this arrest, Smith was on pre-trial release for allegedly having sexual conduct with a minor out of Salt Lake County.

Three others were arrested for exploiting a prostitute, acting in the role of a pimp.

Several drug arrests were also made.

Investigators say the scope of the operation shows just show prevalent the sex trafficking has become.

“It is important to recognize that these arrests came from a three-day human trafficking sting operation, in one small area, in one county in Utah,” the news release said.


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