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40 arrested in Arizona in undercover child sex trafficking operation, police say

Operation Behind The Mask - July 2021.jpg
Posted at 1:34 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 21:25:58-04

PHOENIX — An undercover police operation targeting child sex trafficking and human trafficking in the Valley has led to the arrest of 40 people on various sex-related crimes.

Called "Operation Behind The Mask," the undercover operation involved multiple police agencies in the Valley, including Mesa, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, FBI, HSI, and Attorney Generals Office, according to a news release from the Tempe Police Department.

Ads were posted to websites commonly used by people seeking illegal sex acts.

The suspects, who ranged in age between 20 and 64, all "solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested," according to the news release.

The individuals were arrested by various police agencies and on multiple charges, including child sex trafficking, luring, and attempted sex conduct with a minor.

Other charges included money laundering and drug possession.