Tempe police arrest 30 in prostitution sting

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 28 at 6:43 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tempe police have arrested 30 people in a prostitution sting.

Lt. Mike Pooley said detectives conducted an investigation targeting suspects soliciting underage girls for sex acts, prostitutes and pimps.

During the investigation, detectives contacted women who had posted escort ads online. Pooley said the investigation later determined these women were offering sexual favors for money.

Female detectives posed as 15- and 16-year-old girls from whom suspects requested sexual favors for an amount of money.

"They were being called almost immediately," Pooley said. "Their phones would not stop ringing."

The undercover female detectives met with men at two Tempe hotels.

"They were going there because they wanted not just to have sex, but they wanted to have sex with a minor," Pooley said.

Tempe police arrested 16 people for prostitution and 14 people for child prostitution in less than a week.

"We've seen this problem just getting worse and worse," Pooley said.

Police are hoping to identify victims that are being forced into this lifestyle and want to get out.

"A lot of these girls just cannot get out," Pooley said. They're being trafficked throughout the country, including here in Arizona. They come here for a short amount of time and then they're taken away."

The investigation is continuing.

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Arrested for Child Prostitution
ELLS, MATTHEW
VARELA, MARK
MATTHEWS, JOSEPH
CHIN, TOM
COLLINS, ANTHONY
BENSON, CHRISTOPHER
ARIZMENDIZ,JOSE
O'HARA, CONNORBARNES, JARED
BAZILE, JOHN
MAROIS, MARC
VEERAGANDHAM, HEMANTH
KELLER, MICHAEL
PROEHL, WILLIAM

Arrested for Prostitution
BIGHAM, ALICIA
WALL, ASHLEY
HAYES, JASMYN
PIKE, KYLYNN
BADA, FELICIA
DANIELS, CLAESHAE
KEEL, PRIMULA
WASHINGTON, COURTNEY
LIGGETT, SHARON
SISSON, PATRICIA
INGRAM, BOBBI
STARKS, SONIA
HOLLIDAY, SHANIN
HOLLIDAY, SHAUNA

Pimps arrested
POMEROY, ANTHONY
MUNOZ-CARRERA, LUIS

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