AP NEWS

Operation targeting sexual predators produces 27 arrests

January 30, 2020 GMT

An undercover operation by Phoenix-area police departments and state and federal agencies to target sexual predators has resulted in 27 arrests, officials said Thursday.

Participating agencies in Operation Predator included the Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler police departments, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Officials said the operation targeted the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking and used undercover detectives, with ads placed on websites and apps commonly visited or used by people seeking illegal sexual contact with juveniles, officials said.

Officials said the people arrested are accused of soliciting or brokering deals for sex acts with individuals they believed to be 14 years old or younger.

Those arrested ranged in area from 21 to 69.