Sunflower Markets CEO Accused of Felony Child Prostitution - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Sunflower Markets CEO Accused of Felony Child Prostitution

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You may not recognize who he is, but you probably recognize his stores from around the valley.

Michael Gilliland, the founder of Wild Oats Markets and CEO of Sunflower Farmers Markets was arrested and police say he was planning on having sex with a young girl.

The supermarket executive was caught by Phoenix police at a hotel - a hotel where they say he thought he would be spending the night with an underage girl.

Gilliland met the supposed underage girl online and agreed to meet her at the hotel near Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road.

He was arrested Thursday afternoon after he showed up at the hotel with money.

Sunflower Markets is a natural foods chain with seven locations in Arizona. Gilliland was also one of the founders of the Wild Oats grocery chain.

Police say there was no mistaking it - the person he was going to meet was underage and now he's looking at a felony child prostitution charge.

"It was apparent and would have been obvious to this suspect that the person he was going to meet was a minor," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos. "What we have seen in these types of investigations is that it takes all kinds of people..it could be someone who is working for minimum wage or it could be someone who is a CEO of a major company."

Gilliliand was one of eight people arrested as part of a weeklong child prostitution investigation.

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