Police arrest 24 suspects during 6-day child sex crimes operation

MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Police say they've arrested 24 people during a six-day undercover child sex crimes and human trafficking operation across the Valley.

According to the Mesa Police Department, detectives partnered with the Tempe, Gilbert, and Chandler Police Departments, as well as the Arizona Attorney General's Office, for an undercover operation targeting the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking.

Over six days, undercover police posted ads on websites sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts, according to Mesa police.

"Once they're at the website, they'll post a nuanced message for someone who is looking for illegal sex act to initiate a conversation," said Detective Nik Rasheta with Mesa Police.

The suspects solicited deals for various sex acts with the undercover detectives and were subsequently arrested.

Mesa police say the suspects range in age from 21 to 80 years old.

"Crimes involving children are of the highest priority and I appreciated our partnership with all the agencies involved in the successful removal of these dangerous child predators from our community," Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista said.

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