9 suspects arrested in multi-agency operation targeting sexual predators in Arizona
Feb 12, 2024, 8:00 PM
PHOENIX – Nine suspects were arrested for a variety of offenses in a recent multi-agency undercover operation targeting sexual predators in Arizona, authorities announced Monday.
Federal, state and local agencies in the Tucson and Phoenix areas combined resources on the operation, which ran from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, the Tucson Police Department said.
The suspects allegedly made arrangements online to meet with minors they believed were ages 7 to 16 for sexual acts. However, it turns out they were chatting with undercover law enforcement personnel.
The men, who ranged in age from 25 to 49, were taken into custody without incident after they arrived for the meetings in Tucson, police said.
The suspects were booked into Pima County Jail on a variety of felony charges, including luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, aggravated luring of a minor for sexual exploitation, child sex trafficking, attempted sexual conduct with a minor and solicitation to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
Police departments from Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Chandler, Tempe and Phoenix collaborated on the operation, along with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Pima County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, FBI and U.S. Marshals Service.
The Zero Abuse Project, a nonprofit organization that works to combat child sexual abuse, also participated.