7 arrested in child prostitution sting

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by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

azfamily.com

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 6:26 PM

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. -- Seven men are facing charges in connection with a sex trafficking sting. Investigators said the men are accused of trying to have sex with underage victims.

"I'm absolutely disgusted. I'm almost speechless. It just turns my stomach," said parent Joann White.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office teamed up Prescott PD, Prescott Valley
PD, Cottonwood PD, Department of Public Safety, Department of Homeland Security/ICE,
GITEM, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) and Tempe PD to target the buyers of child prostitutes by posting ads online.

"What are these guys thinking?" said Lt. Tom Boelts with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. "You really hope that someday we get to the point where we run ads like this and nobody calls," 

Seven men called within minutes after the ad went live and then showed up at a motel with money in hand ready to complete the transaction.

"Man up. Get a girlfriend. Get a wife. They probably have a wife or girlfriend. It makes me want to hurt them," said White.

Authorities said they were somewhat surprised by the response to their fake sex ads.

"I remember being fairly shocked myself looking at such a wide variety of individuals and ages that were brought in," said Sgt. Brandon Bonney with the Prescott Valley Police Dept. "You really don't know. It could be the guy next door."

The arrests prove that the sex trade is alive even in a community like Yavapai County. It's a wakeup call for people who live here.

"I would be willing to pay more taxes to see more of this done, got to get these people off the street," said White. "I don't care who they are. It's a crime against society."

All seven men who were arrested are facing charges of conspiracy to commit child prostitution.

Authorities say they would conduct another operation like this in the future. 

Tempe police arrest 30 in prostitution sting

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