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Local Craigslist child sex sting operation nets 10

NOTE: This story contains graphic content and language that some readers may find objectionable.
Credit: Ada County Sheriff's Office
Sting operation nets 10 arrests

NOTE: This story contains graphic content and language that some readers may find objectionable.

BOISE -- One man showed up at the Boise home with Doritos and a gas-station Slurpee, investigators say, gifts for the teenage girl he thought he was about to have sex with.

Another wrote before a planned rendezvous that he wanted to "make sure I'm not walking into a scene from To Catch a Predator lol."

A third man detailed his fantasy of impregnating a 15-year-old, then going on to molest his victim's infant child after it was born, according to prosecutors.

Ten people total were taken into custody over the weekend as part of a major law enforcement sting operation that saw the Idaho Attorney General's Office Internet Crimes Against Children task force teaming up with the Department of Homeland Security as well as detectives and prosecutors from around the Treasure Valley.

The officers, agents and lawyers packed into Ada County's Emergency Operations Center over the weekend, crafting multiple ads that were then posted in "Casual Encounters" section of the local Craigslist page.

Details about the intensive sting emerged in court documents and during initial arraignments for the suspects, most of whom are local residents.

The men arrested in the sting and their charges are listed below:

Terry Joe Horn, 39, - felony attempted lewd contact with a child

Noel Andres Ramirez, 24 - felony attempted lewd contact with a child

Matthew Kruzich, 39 - felony enticing children through the Internet

Samuel Bruce Grove, 28 - felony enticing children through the Internet

Jerry Lynn Moore, 42 - sexual exploitation of a child, felony enticing children through the Internet

Anthony Joseph Magana, 30 - felony coercion and enticement of a minor

Jason Steven Kitley, 48 - felony coercion and enticement of a minor

Gary Alan Baker, 49 - felony coercion and enticement of a minor

Omar Luna, 29 - sex trafficking of children

Steven Lloyd Walker, 49 - felony coercion and enticement of a minor

Horn, Ramirez, Kruzich, Grove and Moore are facing charges on the state level, while Magana, Kitley, Baker, Luna and Walker are facing federal charges. The Department of Justice declined to release the mugshots of the federal arrestees.

GALLERY: Mugshots of suspects arrested in Craigslist sting

Some of the ads posted by investigators professed to be written by boys and girls as young as 14. In other ads, like one posted March 16 under the title "Mommy likes to watch-young family fun" were written by officers posing as a mother offering her underage daughter up for sex with adults.

"MILF and mini-me seeking mature man for play," investigators wrote in another posting. "Serious inquiries only!"

According to a criminal complaint, when Jason Kitley responded to that ad, the "mother" told him her daughter was only 15 years old. But Kitley wasn't deterred, investigators say.

"I have to be honest and tell you the thought of that is an incredible turn on," Kitley wrote, according to email correspondence logs included in the court filing. The suspect goes on to express reservations about getting in trouble with the law - even referencing a popular reality TV show in which men looking for a sexual liaison with minors are instead met by a camera crew and police.

But ultimately, investigators say, Kitley overcame his qualms, driving to the Boise Bench house where he was supposed to meet up with the mother and daughter. There, he was taken into custody by a Boise Police officer.

As the weekend unspooled, the team kept working, arresting suspects as they showed up one by one at the planned-upon rendezvous spot. Some of the men had brought along items - condoms, snacks, wine, energy drinks - requested by the "teen" they expected to meet, according to court documents.

Once in custody, some of the suspects denied that they would have had sex with the children in the ads.

Noel Ramirez told officers he had only planned to be intimate with the teen's mother, despite what he had written to the officer controlling the ad, Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven said. And Matthew Kruzich - who Slaven said believed he was meeting up with a 14-year-old boy named Scott - told investigators he was simply a heroin addict looking to buy drugs.

Others - like Omar Luna and Gary Baker - admitted the crimes outright, according to court documents, with Baker saying "I f---ed up" repeatedly throughout his interview with officers.

Although some of the suspects have only minimal or no criminal history, the sting snared one man investigators have been eyeing for almost a year.

Jerry Moore first emerged on law enforcement's radar in August 2017, when they received a tip that he was uploading child pornography online from his home in Weiser, prosecutors said. Officers drove out to the house, and told Moore they wanted to search his home and electronic devices.

"He gave them consent, but then proceeded to take his cell phone and drop it in the toilet and flush it, and so law enforcement was actually not able to search his phone on that occasion," Slaven said.

In December, Slaven said, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force got a second chance when Moore posted an online ad titled "Daddy needs crack whores." An undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl responded, communicating with Moore for months before he ultimately arranged to meet up with her the weekend of the sting operation.

Slaven told a judge Monday that Moore expressed a desire to get the teen pregnant.

"He also indicated that if they did have a child together, he would molest that child as well," she said.

Even after his arrest, Moore continued expressing "very concerning" ideas to officers, Slaven said, including his opinion that girls aged 12 or 13 may be ready to have sex.

"Jerry stated he wanted to have hundreds of babies" and had wondered "what it would be like to molest babies," the prosecutor said, asking for a half-million bond.

If convicted, all of the suspects would face potentially heavy prison sentences and the prospect of registering as a sex offender. The most serious charges carry a possible life sentence.

Law enforcement celebrated the sting, with the Ada County Sheriff's Office heralding it as "a total success" and the Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden praising everyone who pitched in.

“I want to commend the participating agencies for their teamwork and expertise in organizing and executing this operation,” Wasden said in a statement. “Collaborations like this are an important tool in our ongoing work to protect children from online predators.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is extremely pleased with the results of the joint operation,” U.S. Attorney Bart Davis added. “Project Safe Childhood (PSC) has been a Department of Justice priority since 2006. Working with our local PSC partners we protect children by investigating and prosecuting online sexual offenses involving minors, which is what occurred this past weekend.”

Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is urged to contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-334-4527, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.