ST. GEORGE — An undercover operation to catch potential online predators resulted in charges against several men in southern Utah last week.
The Washington County Attorney's Office said that agents from the FBI and other partners conducted undercover operation Tuesday through Thursday. Friday, at least six men were charged.
Larry Dale Harris, Jr. of Hurricane, 43, faces the most serious accusations. He was charged with enticing a minor by internet or text, and five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all second-degree felonies, in 5th District Court.
Michael Anthony Lerat, 33, of Washington City, was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. According to charging documents, Lerat is "responsible for distribution of child pornography through known social media platforms."1 comment on this story
Others were charged with enticing a minor, a second-degree felony, many for trying to meet up with an undercover officer posing online as a 13-year-old child for the purpose of engaging in sexual actions, according to court records.
John Russell Potter, 39, of St. George; Robert Dajdl Hardy, 24, (who was arrested on his birthday), of Grantsville; Robert Anthony Johnson, 18, of Hurricane; and Kyle Brey Shorr, 32, of St. George, were each charged with one count of enticing a minor by internet or text, a second-degree felony.