LAYTON -- An off-duty Farmington police officer was among eight men arrested during a prostitution sting operation conducted Thursday by Layton police.
Farmington Police Lt. Shane Whitaker, 40, of Farmington was cited with a Class B misdemeanor of sexual solicitation, Layton Police Lt. Quinn Moyes said.
Whitaker had come to a local hotel expecting to meet a prostitute, Moyes said.
The undercover sting targeted those who patronize prostitutes and was set up with an ad placed on an Internet site. Potential clients call the number and make an appointment with what turns out to be a police decoy.
Officers did not book Whitaker in the Davis County Jail for "safety concerns of an officer," Moyes said. Whitaker was handcuffed, fingerprinted and ordered to show up for court, Moyes said.
Moyes said that they plan to treat Whitaker's case "like any other case."
"Police officers are not above the law and we do not turn a blind eye or condone this type of activity."
Whitaker said Friday he is not making any comments on the arrest. A court date has yet to be set for him.
Farmington Mayor Scott C. Harbertson said Whitaker has been put on suspension pending an investigation by county officials.
Six other men were arrested on class B misdemeanor sexual solicitation and booked on a $623 bail. They came from as far away as Draper and Tremonton, Moyes said.
They are Ahmad Asgharzadeh, 40, of Draper; Paul Thomas Yannacone, 54, of Roy; Jeffrey Eugene Medgley, 37, of Farmington; Edwin Robert Sundquist, 50, of Syracuse; Tommy A. Rivera, 28, of Roy, and Nathan Wynn Iverson, 32, of Tremonton.
The eighth man, Matthew Hammond, 34, of Salt Lake City, was cited with the same Class B misdemeanor and released because an officer was needed elsewhere and couldn't transport him to jail, Moyes said.
The Layton Police Department created its own vice unit five years ago specifically to crack down on prostitution. From June 2009 to June of this year, the department has arrested 61 people -- 28 prostitutes and 33 johns, Moyes said.