TEMPE, Ariz, — An undercover operation targeting child sex crimes and human trafficking in Arizona’s Salt River Valley led to the recent arrests of 40 people, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
The Tempe Police Department told KSAZ-TV that it partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and the Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale police departments to execute “Operation Behind the Mask.”
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According to KNXV-TV, operatives posted advertisements to websites frequented by people seeking illegal sex acts, snaring 40 offenders ranging in age from 20 to 64.
“The suspects reportedly solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested,” the Tempe Police Department stated in a news release.
The arrested individuals were taken into custody by various police agencies on multiple charges, including child sex trafficking, luring, attempted sex conduct with a minor, money laundering and drug possession, KNXV-TV reported.
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