Almost 120 human-trafficking related arrests made in Phoenix-metro area: police

Phoenix Police cruiser

The Phoenix Police Department, along with multiple other agencies, arrested 118 people in an undercover human-trafficking operation.

The 118 arrests in Scottsdale and Phoenix involved prostitution, luring, pandering, escort service violations and warrants, police say. Their focus was on hotel and street prostitution.

Sgt. Ann Justus says three of the suspects arrested had outstanding felony warrants, including one for homicide out of Texas. One person was arrested after trying to meet up with a minor for a sexual encounter, but it was really law enforcement.

Multiple possible traffickers were identified, and at least 70 people were offered help and services to get out of prostitution and human trafficking, police say.

Police officials say their Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) unit worked with Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, HSI and FBI.

The operation took place in two phases. The first phase was a three-day operation in January, and another three-day period was in February.

If you have information about someone being trafficked, contact your local police department or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or visit

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