WVC man arrested on felony aggravated exploitation of prostitute charge

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, March 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A West Valley City man has been arrested on charges including felony aggravated exploitation of a prostitute.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Gregory Jay Earls, 53, is facing charges of:

  • Four counts of distribute/offer/arrange distribution of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony
  • Aggravated exploitation of prostitution, a second-degree felony
  • Possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Assault, a class B misdemeanor

In February of 2021, while working as a detective for West Valley City and an investigator for the Utah Attorney General’s SECURE strike force, the arresting officer was contacted by a woman. During an interview, she said Earls is her ex-boyfriend and pimp.

“She stated she met Gregory approximately two years ago when he saw an ad she posted online soliciting herself for sex,” the statement said. “She stated Gregory paid her for sex various times and they developed a relationship. She stated Gregory started buying things for her, taking care of her, and was like a boyfriend to her. She told me that Gregory started to give her suggestions on how to post ads for herself, he would drive her to her dates, and even purchased her hotel rooms.”

The officer clarified that the term dates is often used by commercial sex workers to describe appointments they have where they offer sexual acts for money.

She stated that Earls began managing the money she made from her “dates,” which could be up to $2,000 per week. She told the officer she has a heroin addiction, and that Earls supplied her and other girls with heroin. She added that Earls is a “major drug dealer” in the Salt Lake Valley, dealing heroin, crack cocaine, and oxycodone.

“She stated that if she does not use daily she will get very sick,” the statement said. “She stated Gregory has alienated her in a way that she is only able to get the heroin from him, if she does something against his will then he will not provide it to her.”

On three separate occasions in February of 2021, Earls allegedly met with an undercover agent and sold them various narcotics such as suspected heroin, crack cocaine, and/or oxycodone pills in exchange for money. These substances were field tested and the results were positive for the respective narcotics.

On Feb. 21, the victim called the arresting officer and stated that Earls had come to visit her at a hotel and they got into an argument.

“During the course of the argument, she got into the bed of his truck, the statement said. She stated Gregory intentionally sped up and slammed his brakes on, causing her to hit her face on the truck. He then got out of the truck and pulled her out, then drove away.”

On March 4, a search warrant was requested and obtained for Earls’ home and vehicle. An undercover officer contacted Earls and an agreement was made to sell heroin. When he arrived, he was arrested. A search of his person and vehicle revealed nearly $7,000 in cash, suspected oxycodone pills, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The heroin was found to be separated into various small baggies. A search warrant of Earls’ residence revealed scales, small baggies, syringes, and pipes with a dark-colored burnt residue.

The arresting officer is attempting to locate and interview other women believed to have been victims of Earls.

The suspect was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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