Operation Vampire Cough – Child Sex Crimes Arrests
The Eight Arrested:
The Mesa Police Department recently carried out Operation Vampire Cough, an undercover operation targeting the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking of children.
Throughout the operational period, officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts. The suspects solicited and/or brokered deals for various child sex acts and were subsequently arrested.
The Mesa Police Department routinely conducts operations of this type in a continuous effort to reduce the demand that fuels human sex trafficking from our community.
Eight arrests were made for child sex crimes charges during this operation and the suspects ranged in age from 20 to 37 years old. Some of the charges include:
- Luring a child for sexual exploitation, a class 3 felony,
- Aggravated luring a child for sexual exploitation, a class 2 felony,
- Child sex trafficking, a class 2 felony,
- Attempted sexual conduct with a minor, a class 3 felony,
- Money laundering, a class 3 felony, and Felony arrest warrant(s).
The Mesa Police Department partners with organizations and survivor advocates to assist victims who have been exploited or trafficked.
Our partnership with the Hickey Family Foundation and Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) was crucial to the success of this investigation.
For more information about human exploitation and trafficking and how to help, please visit: http://mesaaz.gov/residents/police/departments-divisions/mesa-family-advocacy-center/heat