A man suspected of being a sexual predator, arrested just two weeks ago for investigation of enticing a minor over Internet, was arrested again Thursday night after police say he attempted to hook up online with an officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.
Authorities were alarmed when they found the man could be a repeat offender and when he allegedly admitted to having sexual contact with at least seven juveniles he had met on the Internet in the past two years, said Ken Wallentine, Chief of Law Enforcement for the Utah Attorney General's Office.
Scott James Swift, 26, was arrested just before 10 p.m. for investigation of enticing a minor over the Internet. He was being held Friday in the Salt Lake County Jail on no bail.
The man allegedly made arrangements to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover officer.
Wallentine said members of the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force weren't looking for the man specifically during their operation and they were "shocked" when he was the person they ended up arresting.
"We clearly think this guy is a highly dangerous predator and a risk to young children in our community," he said.
Swift was arrested Aug. 24 for investigation of enticing a minor over the Internet. He was released Aug. 30 after charges were not filed by the holding deadline.
This time, Wallentine said prosecutors intend to stress to the court that Swift deserves to stay in jail.
"This is a serious predator. We want to make sure he remains incarcerated," he said.
The man admitted to investigators that he had had encounters with seven other minors from the greater Salt Lake area whom he met online, Wallentine said. Investigators fear there could be even more victims and are asking anyone who might have information about Swift to call investigator Rhet McQuiston at 281-1200.
Swift used several names on the Internet including "skater_that_has_itforagirl," "man_that_sing" and "a-d-d-ias-284105," Wallentine said.
The task force, overseen by the AG's office with support from the FBI and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, has been working the investigation into Swift non-stop since his arrest. Wallentine said detectives had a "greater motivation" to work the case as fast as they could.
"I've got people working fast and furious on a number of investigative avenues," he said. "We take these crimes exceedingly seriously."
A check of court records showed Swift has a lengthy criminal record, mostly for misdemeanor crimes, including attempted forgery, retail theft, theft and possession of drugs.