Authorities took a Clearfield man into custody after he allegedly planned to meet what he believed was a 13-year-old girl for sex.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force came to know 28-year-old Tyler Jesse Richards while conducting an undercover operation on Thursday.
During the operation, detectives posed as minors on popular social media sites, chatting with individuals seeking sexual relations with children. Richards allegedly made contact with an undercover detective who he believed to be a 13-year-old female.
Richards then allegedly made arrangements to meet with who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, planning to meet at a home in Kaysville, according to arrest documents.
Detectives asserted that Richards planned to meet who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl at the residence in Kaysville before driving her up the canyon and engaging in sexual relations. Richards allegedly told the detective he would bring the condoms so the child wouldn’t get pregnant.
When Richards arrived to the Kaysville home, detectives took him into custody.
A subsequent search of Richards and his vehicle yielded a package of condoms, which were found in the driver’s side door, and a knife with a blade that was about 6 inches long. According to the probable cause affidavit, the knife was wrapped in a towel on the passenger’s seat.
In an interview with police, Richards allegedly admitted to making plans to meet with her in hopes of engaging in sexual acts. Furthermore, Richards allegedly said he is attracted to children as young as 13 years old, as that is the time they are going through puberty.
During the interview, police discovered a conversation with a second child on Richards’ phone, according to arrest documents. While there were sexual conversations, authorities did not find a plan to engage in sexual activities.
Richards allegedly tried to make plans to meet the second female at midnight, but the child said she could not, and Richards allegedly told detectives he was planning to meet the second female after he had sex with the first child.
Richards was taken into custody under suspicion of second-degree felony enticing a minor by internet or text. He is currently being held at the Utah County Jail.