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27 men arrested in metro Phoenix undercover child sex crime sting

(Facebook Screenshot/City of Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – Twenty-seven metro Phoenix men have been arrested this month in a multi-agency investigation of child sex crimes known as Operation Silent Predator, authorities said Thursday.

Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler police worked with Homeland Security Investigations and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office on the undercover operation.

The suspects allegedly believed they were arranging or brokering sex acts with boys and girls younger than 15 years old through social media, police said.

Officers and detectives in the operation, which began Jan. 13, placed ads on websites and apps known to be used by predators seeking sexual contact with children, police said.

“Essentially, it’s like fishing. When you put the bait out, the fish will come,” Commander Jim Gallagher of the Phoenix Police Department’s Drug Enforcement Bureau said during a press conference.

The most recent arrest was made Thursday morning.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams urged parents to monitor their children’s online activity.

“If we choose not to monitor, bad things can happen,” she said during the press conference. “There are people in our social media world who will hurt us or hurt our children if we don’t do the responsible thing.”

The men arrested ranged in age from 21 to 69.

Here are the names, ages, reporting agencies and booking charges for the suspects, as provided by the Phoenix Police Department:

  • Roy Vasquez, 55, Chandler: Aggravated luring of a minor, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, possession of narcotic drugs and drug paraphernalia.
  • Jose Sandoval, 30, Mesa: Child sex trafficking, money laundering, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Bryan Carr, 30, Mesa: Child sex trafficking, money laundering, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Colten Jourdain, 35, AG’s Office: Aggravated luring of a minor, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Kevin Evangelista, 26, AG’s Office: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Patrick Mai, 65, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Juan Flores, 40, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Nicholas Benhart, 23, Tempe: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Andrew Kasmar, 37, Tempe: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Edward Mendoza, 33, Mesa: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor
  • Daryl McCraw, 53, Mesa: Child sex trafficking, carrying a weapon – commission of a felony, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Hector Pano, 48, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Agustin Ibanez, 32, Chandler: Aggravated luring of a minor, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, furnishing harmful materials to a minor, possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Samuel Puma, 69, Mesa: Aggravated luring of a minor, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation.
  • Khristopher Broom, 31, Tempe: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Richard Gonzalez, 37, Mesa: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Walter Lundy, 59, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Jesus Mendoza, 23, Phoenix: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Terrick Ebron, 22, Mesa: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Dovonta Owens, 25, Mesa: Aggravated luring of a minor, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Lawrence Ruiz, 29, Phoenix: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Isaac Arce, 21, Mesa: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, money laundering, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Fabian Hernandez, 30, AG’s Office: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Tommy Diaz, 28, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Franklin Omori, 57, Tempe: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.
  • Ezra Reynolds, 31, Tempe: Luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.
  • Jose Sanchez Talavera, 51, Phoenix: Child sex trafficking, luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sex conduct with a minor.

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