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Local school official arrested in sting targeting online predators

Updated December 11, 2020 - 2:40 pm

Las Vegas police and FBI officials arrested 11 men during an operation targeting “online predators,” including a Clark County School District assistant principal.

Members of the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department’s internet crimes against children task force made the arrests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The operation “targeted online predators who attempted to meet and have sex with someone they believed was a 13-year-old girl,” Metro said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Police identified one of the suspects arrested as 29-year-old Tyler Yost, an assistant principal at Derfelt Elementary School, the Clark County School District said.

Yost, who was hired in 2015, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of “luring a child for sex” and is working from home “per the negotiated agreement with their bargaining unit,” according to a message sent to parents from the elementary school.

The other suspects were Christopher Damron, 46; Anthony Huth, 42; Alejandro Aranda, 35; Nicholas Lara, 27; Amezquita Miguel, 55; Jonathan Tavares, 45; Samuel Privado-Martinez, 40; Armand Grays, 45; Kun Yoo, 36; and Shawn Matthews, 39, police said.

The men face charges including luring a child to engage in sexual conduct, soliciting a child for prostitution, attempted sexual assault of a child under 14 and luring a child with a computer to engage in sexual conduct.

According to an arrest report for Damron, of Oxnard, California, the 46-year-old was arrested after police said he responded to an online prostitution advertisement posted by an officer with the Child Exploitation Task Force.

The officer, posing as a 15-year-old girl, said Damron texted him saying he’d just lost a lot of money so he was “a little grumpy and trying to get happy.”

“During the text messages, it was disclosed to Damron that the decoy was 15-years-old,” police said.

Damron continued to text the undercover officer, and agreed to meet the supposed teen and pay $200 for sex acts, police said.

The next day, the undercover officer gave the man an address where they could meet.

Police stopped Damron while he was driving an Audi at the scheduled location, and he was found with a phone with a number used to text the undercover officer. He denied planning to have sex with the teenager, the report said.

Further information about the other arrests was not available.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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