MESA, AZ — ABC15 has learned a Valley high school football coach and a Paradise Valley childcare worker were two of 17 suspects arrested in a joint undercover operation targeting child sex crimes and human trafficking.
According to Mesa police, their department worked with officers and undercover detectives with Tempe police and Homeland Security Investigations to place ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects looking for illegal sex acts. The suspects, who ranged in age from 23 to 46 years old, reportedly solicited or worked out deals for sex acts and were later arrested.
The suspects are facing charges ranging from luring and attempted sexual conduct with a minor, to money laundering and child sex trafficking.
Included in the operation was the arrest of Mountain Ridge High School Football Coach Vincent Ciliberti Jr.
According to court documents, Ciliberti allegedly communicated with who he thought was a 14-year-old boy and stated he wanted to have a sexual relationship with the teen.
Documents stated that Ciliberti traveled to Mesa to have sex with the teen, but it turns out he had been speaking to an undercover officer.
Ciliberti was arrested in late January on counts including luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
Another of the 17 men arrested during the operation was an employee with the Paradise Valley Unified School District who worked with students in before and after school programs.
Mico Cano was taken into custody on February 2 by Mesa police.