MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- Mesa Police officials say 17 people, including a football coach with Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, have been arrested for alleged child sex crimes, as part of a large operation.
FOX 10 first reported on the arrest of Vincent Ciliberti on February 5. At the time, school officials state that they were notified by Tempe Police about the arrest of Ciliberti, who worked as a teacher and football coach at MRHS for one and a half year. He has been coaching high school football since 2003.
On Tuesday, Mesa Police officials announced the arrest of 17 people by multiple agencies, including the arrest of Ciliberti, as part of "Operation No Mulligans", an undercover operation targeting the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking. During the operation, officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts, and the suspects who solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts were subsequently arrested.
In the Mesa Police statement announcing the arrests, Ciliberti, 35, is accused of luring and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. Suspects arrested in the operation ranged from 23 to 46 years of age.
According to court documents, Ciliberti was arrested for luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. The documents state that Ciliberti communicated with an undercover officer via instant messenger, with whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, saying he wanted to have a sexual relationship. Police, however, say there is no indication that Ciliberti had any physical contact with a minor at this time.
Police also identified a number of other people who were arrested as part of the operation, including Kenneth Nelson, a New River man who is accused of paying cash in exchange for having sex with kids, and Mico Cano, a Paradise Valley Unified School District employee accused of luring and attempted sexual contact with a minor.