OGDEN — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Hunter High School math teacher Monday on suspicion of sexually enticing a minor on the internet and sending explicit pictures.
Jared Wayne Briggs, 37, of Eagle Mountain, was booked into the Weber County Jail on a second-degree felony count of enticing a minor by internet or text and four third-degree felony counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor.
Deputy William Smith said in a probable cause statement he participated in an undercover operation March 5-13 in which he posed as a 13-year-old girl on the Whisper app.
The deputy said his persona was contacted by a man who said he was a math teacher in the state of Utah. The arrest affidavit said the man contacted the supposed teen girl several times during the next several days.
The man asked the girl for pictures of her panties and bra and officers sent him a photo of a female decoy with the waistline of her panties visible above her jeans.
Over the next few days, the man sent several photos of an erect penis and videos of himself masturbating, and asked her about masturbation, the affidavit said.
Smith and other members of the FBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force obtained search warrants and subpoenas that led them to Briggs, according to the affidavit.
Briggs was picked up in Eagle Mountain and brought to the sheriff’s office in Ogden, where he allegedly acknowledged his activities and said he had an addiction to pornography, the document said.
Lt. Cortney Ryan of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Briggs was booked in Ogden because the alleged victim in this case — the teenage girl persona adopted by Smith — was in Weber County.
The FBI task force and a similar operation by the Utah Attorney General’s Office frequently set up similar stings, resulting in dozens of enticement arrests annually around the state.
As of Tuesday afternoon, formal charges had not been filed against Briggs. He remained jailed in lieu of $30,000 bail.
Mark Peterson, Utah State Office of Education spokesman, confirmed Briggs is employed at the West Valley City high school.
Briggs was placed on administrative leave after his arrest, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said.
The teacher will be on leave pending resolution of the criminal case and an administrative investigation by the district, Horsley said.
Briggs was hired last fall and came from out of state, he said.