Valley police arrest 150 in national sex trafficking operation

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said Valley law enforcement agencies arrested 150 would-be sex buyers as part of a national effort to combat sex trafficking.

The Phoenix FBI Office supported investigators and decoys from the Phoenix, Glendale, Chandler, Mesa and Tempe police departments with the week-long operation, which was part of the eighth National Day of Johns Arrests.

The Valley efforts concentrated on online classified ad sites and street reversals. Police said 91 arrests came from ads, several of which solicited sex from juveniles.

Local law enforcement reportedly led the nation in arrests, with the entire coalition arresting nearly 500 would-be sex buyers, or "Johns."

"It is a strong message that we are putting out here in a united front that we're going to go after all aspects of the sex trade from the buyer to the seller to those profiting from this industry," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump. "It is a very violent industry."

Eighty vehicles were also impounded in the Valley during the operation.

Breakdown of arrests:

-Phoenix police - 69
-Mesa police - 28
Tempe police - 21
-Glendale police - 19
-Chandler police -13