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Updated Sep 19, 2012 - 1:30 pm

MCSO arrests 51 for drugs, prostitution in connection with Backpage.com

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives say a drug operation that started months ago led to the arrests of 51 people on charges including attempted murder, drug possession, identity theft, prostitution and weapons.

Detectives were originally patrolling a hotel in Guadalupe for drug trafficking.

After further investigation it was found that prostitution was being set up via Backpage.com, a site that is part of a group that publishes newspapers throughout the country, including the Phoenix New Times.

There were 17 total arrests for prostitution.

Nearly $20,000 in cash and more than 60 pounds of marijuana were seized during the operation.

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