The Police Department in Surprise, Arizona as part of its latest criminal investigation along with another local police department, federal agencies and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, carried out to catch suspects of child sex crimes and human trafficking.
“Operations of this type are a part of the Surprise Police Department’s continuous effort to reduce the demand that fuels child sex trafficking and exploitation of children in our community,” the Department said in a statement this week.
At least 21 suspects were arrested for soliciting and brokering deals of multiple illegal sex acts. The Police Department found these suspects after placing ads on some online websites.
“Many people don’t realize that human trafficking is happening in all of our communities,” Cami Parker, Founder of Global Education Philanthropists in Arizona said in a statement to Timcast. “People believe human trafficking is something that happens in far away places or countries. That’s completely false.”
“The digital age has opened up channels for traffickers and buyers — ‘Johns’ — to conduct ‘business’ transactions in new ways,” she added.
“Online/Live stream abuse is skyrocketing,” Parker told Timcast. “We have seen cases in homes where children are being trafficked via live stream camera, while their parents share the same bedroom wall, and have no idea.”
Since 2015, Arizona’s Republican Attorney General has prosecuted over 372 cases with 477 defendants connected to sex trafficking.
“There are predators in all of our neighborhoods,” Parker noted. “In this specific instance, contact was initiated online. Predators will use similar tactics to get to our children.”
This comes after a similar, one-of-a-kind sex trafficking sting operation, brought more than 160 sex workers and their customers to jail in Florida.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced earlier this month about a week-long sting called “Operation Fall Haul II” was launched by investigators to find victims of sex trafficking and the operation finally lead to successful arrests of at least 160 suspects, including a top cop from Georgia.
“Our goal is to start services the moment that they are taken into custody and to treat them as what they are, victims, not as suspects in a criminal event,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd informed at the time in a press conference.
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