FARMINGTON — Detectives, following a two-month sting operation, arrested a Farmington man for soliciting sex from a 13-year-old on Craigslist.

Farmington police charged 29-year-old Kevin Sharp with attempted sexual exploitation of a child and child solicitation by an electronic communication device, both third-degree felonies.

He also faces four counts of fourth-degree felony child solicitation by electronic communication.

Police arrested Sharp late Friday at the Super 8 Motel in Farmington, where he arranged to meet the 13-year-old girl, Farmington Police Cpl. Russ Bradford said.

The charges occurred over the two-month period in which detectives posed as a 13-year-old and communicated with Sharp online, according to court records.

Sharp is accused of creating a screen name to engage in sexual communications with the girl, including asking her to send naked photographs.

Each time the girl refused.

"I guess I could stop being a loser and go find a chick my age," Sharp allegedly replied after one refusal.

Police also believe Sharp created another screen name to talk to the young girl.

Posing as a 15-year-old boy, Sharp allegedly was trying to determine if the young girl was actually a police officer while at the same time encouraging her to send nude pictures of herself to the other man she admitted talking with online.

According to court records, the communication between Sharp and the undercover officer led to the scheduled meeting at the motel.


Sharp told police he was talking to the girl online, both as the older man and as the 15-year-old, according to court records.

Detectives do not know if Sharp previously victimized any minors.

"Obviously we caught this guy, but it doesn't mean we caught him first," Bradford said.

Sharp's arrest followed an investigation conducted by members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Between Jan. 1, 2008, and July 7, 2011, Farmington police officers reported 99 sex-related cases where the victim was between the ages of 12 and 15, Detective Heather Chavez said.

Three Farmington officers are members of the task force, designed to capture online sexual predators through various means, including Craigslist, online chat rooms and file-sharing websites.

"We are really pushing it through this department to try to make people safer," Bradford said.

Police are asking anyone with any information to contact Chavez or Cpl. Russ Bradford at (505) 599-1005.

Sharp remains incarcerated at San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

Elizabeth Piazza: