Operation Silent Predator – 9 Arizona men arrested
Edward Vasquez, Colten Stacy Jourdain, Kevin Morales Evangelista, Patrick Edward Mai, Nicholas Dawn Benhart, Jesus Eduardo Mendoza, Lawrence Ruiz, Tommy Diaz and Franklin John Omori
A state grand jury indicted nine Arizona men on suspicion of soliciting illegal sexual acts from undercover agents posing as minors as part of a child sexual exploitation sting, the office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday.
Operation Silent Predator began in January and included Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and Chandler police departments, as well as Homeland Security Investigations and the Attorney General’s Office.
The investigation targeted individuals soliciting sexual conduct with minors.
The men arrested were identified as 55-year-old Roy Edward Vasquez, 35-year-old Colten Stacy Jourdain, 26-year-old Kevin Morales Evangelista, 65-year-old Patrick Edward Mai, 23-year-old Nicholas Dawn Benhart, 23-year-old Jesus Eduardo Mendoza, 29-year-old Lawrence Ruiz, 28-year-old Tommy Diaz and 57-year-old Franklin John Omori.
Each of the men was charged with attempted sexual conduct with a minor, but some received other charges. including luring a child for sexual exploitation and money laundering.
Diaz and Mai were additionally charged with child sex trafficking.
Assistant Attorney General Rachel Nava is prosecuting the cases, according to a press release by the Attorney General’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the men is asked to contact Sgt. Mark Doty with the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151.