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Facebook Messenger sting nets two suspects

Two Pahrump men are facing charges following what the Nye County Sheriff’s Office described as a Facebook Messenger sting in two separate cases.

As stated in a video news release, Deputy Ann Horak said the investigation began on July 31, after a local father discovered sexually-related conversations between an adult male, identified as Gilbert Rivera, 19, and the father’s 14-year-old daughter.

“Some messages included Rivera asking the juvenile to perform sexual acts on him and spoke of previous instances in which they already had sexual contact,” Horak said. “He also asked the juvenile if she wanted to smoke and drink with him. Detectives obtained consent to take custody of the phone to conduct further investigations.”

Deploying decoys

Once detectives obtained the phone, Horak noted they utilized the Facebook Messenger account on the juvenile’s phone to communicate with Rivera.

“Detectives pretended to be the 14-year-old juvenile,” she said. “During the conversation, Rivera said that he wanted to perform sexual acts on the juvenile. Rivera made plans to meet with the juvenile on July 31st with a friend of his. Rivera told the juvenile that she needed to tell his friend that she is turning 17 because he was concerned about going to jail.”

Horak went on to say that detectives made plans to meet with Rivera to meet at a local business on the far south end of town.

“Detectives utilized a Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputy as a decoy resembling the 14-year-old juvenile,” she said. “Detectives dropped the decoy deputy off to meet Rivera. Minutes later when he arrived, the deputy decoy revealed himself as a law enforcement officer, and detectives detained Rivera.”

Additionally, Horak noted Rivera admitted that he was there to meet the juvenile and planned on having sex with her.

Rivera was subsequently booked into the Nye County Detention Center and charged with allegedly luring a child with the use of a computer, and lewdness with a child by a person over the age of eighteen.

Second man arrested

Horak also said detectives continued their investigation into the case on August 5, by utilizing the same Facebook Messenger account in order to continue a conversation with a man identified as resident Shawn Kelley, 33.

“Detectives again pretended to be the 14-year-old juvenile while messaging with Kelley,” she said. “He said that he did not care that the juvenile was only 14 and made plans to meet with her at Petrack Park after she sneaked out of her house that night. He said that they could have sex because he was unable to get her pregnant.”

Once again detectives utilized another Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputy as a decoy, resembling the 14-year-old juvenile,” Horak noted.

“The deputy waited at Petrack Park for Kelley to arrive,” she said. “Detectives located Kelley on a bicycle approaching Petrack Park and he was detained. Kelley told detectives that he was homeless and sleeps at the park, but admitted that he was there to meet a 14-year-old girl.”

During a search of Kelley’s backpack, Horak said detectives found suspected methamphetamine, which tested presumptive positive for the drug.

Kelley was then arrested and booked into the Nye County Detention Center, where he was charged with allegedly luring a child with the use of a computer, and possession of a controlled substance.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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