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Army recruiter among 6 arrested in soliciting a minor sting

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PAROWAN — An Army recruiter in Cedar City was among six men arrested during a multi-agency operation to battle child sex crimes that wrapped up Sunday, Parowan police reported Sunday night.

Jason Everette Livermore, 30, was charged Friday in 5th District Court with two counts of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony; and enticing a minor, a second-degree felony.

An ad with a picture of two young females was placed in various social media websites "known to produce child trafficking activities and child predators" with a phone number and a link to other sites, Parowan Police Chief Ken Carpenter said in a news release. The suspects contacted the number and exchanged several phone conversations or text messages with a confidential informant, who made it clear they would be having sex with one or more 13-year-old children, he said.

According to Carpenter, the men traveled to Paragonah in Iron County to meet the girls.

In Livermore's case, the group Veterans for Child Rescue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to battling child sex trafficking, placed an fake ad on Craigslist for "family love in the St. George area," according to charging documents.

Livermore responded to the ad and arranged to have sex with whom he thought was a 39-year-old woman and her 12-year-old daughter, the charges state.

Police interviewed Livermore after his arrest and he said "he knew what he was doing was wrong. He claims he has never done this in the past but did have full intention for completing the sex acts today with the child," the charging documents say.

Livermore is "a full-time Army recruiter," according to court documents.

Phillip Gerstner, 30, of Jerome, Idaho; Carlos Valenzuela Nunez, 30, of Enterprise, Washington County; Floyd Jennings, 71, of St. George; and James Garrelts, 53, Cedar City, were all arrested for investigation of conspiracy to commit child rape. Trevor Bodily, 31, of Clearfield, was arrested for investigation of attempting to commit child rape.

Besides Parowan police, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Iron County Attorney’s Office, Iron/ Garfield/ Beaver Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigation, Utah Highway Patrol and the Veteran’s for Child Rescue worked on the operation.

Contributing: Mitch Wilkinson