SALT LAKE CITY — A Kearns man currently charged with human trafficking has been arrested again in an online undercover investigation by police.
Police say when Craig Thomas Defa, 27, showed up to meet whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl, he was still wearing a GPS monitor on his ankle issued by a judge in his current case.
In November 2019, Defa pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, in exchange for 11 other counts of sexual exploitation of a minor being dismissed. He was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on probation. Defa was also required to register as a sex offender in Utah.
Less than a year later, in August, Defa was charged in 3rd District Court with human trafficking, a first-degree felony, and six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. His next court hearing in that case is scheduled for Jan. 26.
On Thursday, Defa was chatting online with an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl and Defa offered the girl money for a sexual act, according to a police affidavit. When the officer told him “she” was only 13, he replied, “Ooof that’s risky,” but then he stated “I’m game if you are,” the affidavit states.
Defa agreed to meet the girl in a fast-food parking lot in Salt Lake County. A team of FBI officers staged in the area in unmarked cars, according to the affidavit. Defa pulled into the parking lot, but then left and parked at a business down the street, Investigators ran the vehicle’s license plate and learned it was Defa, a registered sex offender, the affidavit states.
Defa was taken into custody. He declined to speak to police but asked if he could call his mother.
“I dialed a phone number Mr. Defa provided to me and then placed the phone on speaker. An adult female answered and Mr. Defa said he was going to a jail,” the affidavit states.
He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of enticing a minor.