OREM, Utah (ABC4) – An Orem man was arrested on Tuesday after police say he allegedly exchanged drugs such as THC and nicotine with underaged girls for sexual favors.
Carlos Alonso Argueta Caballero, 24, is facing multiple felony charges including first-degree felony charges of aggravated exploitation of prostitution of a child, drug distribution in a drug-free zone, child human trafficking, rape of a child, and two counts of sodomy child. Caballero also faces two second-degree felony counts of enticing a minor by internet and one third-degree felony count of dealing harmful materials to a minor.
Orem City Police were reportedly notified of Carballero’s alleged behavior near the end of January when a 12-year-old girl reported receiving explicit images from a man on Instagram, later identified as Carballero.
The girl reportedly told police she had met up with Caballero on two occasions at a church parking lot. On both occasions, the girl said sexual favors were exchanged with Caballero for THC and nicotine. During the second meeting, Caballero allegedly “held her down” and violated her before allowing her to leave.
In their investigation, Orem City Police reportedly discovered Caballero was having multiple conversations with underage girls, where he was allegedly contacting them for the trade.
Police later located Caballero at his Orem home and safely took him into custody. Authorities allegedly found “distribution amounts” of THC in his home.
According to the probable cause affidavit, upon his arrest, Caballero admitted to the exchanges with five underaged girls, including the girl who made the report. Caballero also allegedly provided police with more information that could lead to more charges in the future.
UPDATE: Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
The Orem Police Department’s Special Victims Unit said they are seeking additional victims and witnesses. Detectives said they believe Caballero targeted juvenile females using social media. He would likely be identified as “Carlos” on social media chats.
Because Caballero used social media to arrange and provide nicotine and THC to the previous female victims, they said it is likely he used social media to solicit additional victims.
They said that victims and witnesses who have been solicited to trade sex acts for substances should contact Orem Police Department at (801) 229-7070, or the Utah Attorney General’s office at (801) 366-0260.