Arizona officials said 40 suspects have been arrested in connection with an operation targeting child sex crimes in the Valley area.
The Tempe Police Department said it joined with Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the attorney general’s office, and police in Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale for “Operation Behind the Mask,” Fox 10 reported Tuesday.
The effort was an undercover operation surrounding child sex crimes and human trafficking.
“Throughout the operational period, undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts,” police explained Tuesday. “The suspects reportedly solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested.”
According to ABC 15, the suspects’ ages ranged between 20 and 64 and were arrested on multiple charges including child sex trafficking, luring, and attempted sex conduct with a minor.
“Other charges included money laundering and drug possession,” the outlet said.