Mesa police arrest 6 suspects in sex trafficking sting

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Hari Lubovac 42 (top left), Harpreet Singh 48, Adrian Peric 57, Raul Chavez-Escalante 24, Tony Gordon 40 and Jesus Felix 52 all arrested by Mesa PD in a sex trafficking sting. (Source: Mesa Police Department) Hari Lubovac 42 (top left), Harpreet Singh 48, Adrian Peric 57, Raul Chavez-Escalante 24, Tony Gordon 40 and Jesus Felix 52 all arrested by Mesa PD in a sex trafficking sting. (Source: Mesa Police Department)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Mesa police arrested six suspects in a recent sex trafficking sting they called 'Operation Sleigh Ride'. The purpose of the operation was to target the demand side of prostitution to reduce human trafficking within Mesa, police said.

[RELATED: 4 Arizona juveniles rescued in nationwide sex trafficking sting]

Officers and undercover detectives from various units within the Mesa Police Department placed ads on websites commonly used by suspects seeking illegal sex acts.

The suspects brokered deals for various sex acts and were arrested at the location where they were supposed to meet for sex. 

Mesa PD says each year they conduct these kinds of operations to reduce the demand that fuels human sex trafficking. Suspects who are willing to solicit sex acts for money fuel that demand, Mesa police said.

[READ MORE: Phoenix officials raise awareness about human trafficking with new PSA]

The suspects in the latest operation ranged in age from 57 to 24 years old. 

Mesa PD partners with organizations and survivor advocates to assist victims after being exploited or trafficked.

[RELATED: Child sex trafficking arrests: 2 men facing charges]

If anyone has information about someone being trafficked, they are asked to call their local police department or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 for resources to help.

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