Davis County man arrested on charge of felony enticing a minor

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, March 11, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Davis County man was arrested Tuesday on a charge of enticing a minor by Internet or text, a second-degree felony.

A probable cause statement from the 2nd District County said the suspect is Benjamin Stoddard, 47.

Beginning Dec. 5, 2019 and continuing through Jan. 9, while conducting an online undercover investigation, an agent from the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force began talking with an unknown man via an online chat application, the statement said. The agent’s online undercover profile was that of a 13-year-old girl.

The suspect allegedly sent a picture of himself during this conversation and talked about taking the “girl” to Montana, the statement said.

On Jan. 9, the suspect allegedly made arrangements to meet with what he believed to be the teen girl in Fruit Heights for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

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“Law enforcement agents set up in the area of the meet location and observed a Toyota truck with Montana plates driving in the area,” the statement said. “At that same time the undercover agent received a message from the suspect stating that he was in the area of the meet location, but had observed some police activity.”

The vehicle was stopped and the driver was identified as Stoddard. He matched the photo that had been sent during the chat conversation, the statement said. The suspect was advised of his Miranda rights and chose not to speak with officers.

He was transported to Davis County Jail with his bail set at $10,000.

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