Massive child sex sting by law enforcement results in 34 suspected sex predators being arrested

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PHOENIX, AZ – A coordinated effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies in the Phoenix area saw 34 alleged sexual predators trying to target minors online for sex arrested.

The effort, dubbed as “Operation Broken Hearts”, saw suspects aged between 21 and 66 years old being arrested for a variety of offenses involving the targeting of minors online. 

According to Phoenix Police officials who announced the successes of the operation on February 19th, Phoenix Police had worked alongside the Mesa, Tempe and Chandler police departments – as well as Homeland Security Investigations and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in this endeavor.

Each of the suspects arrested had allegedly, in some form or another, attempted to either broker deals or solicit sexual acts with minors via responding to ads placed online by undercover officers.

Here’s a list of all the suspects arrested in the sting, as well as the charges that they’re currently facing: 

  • Eric Niles, 38, Chandler: State Human Trafficking out of Missouri (reportedly arrested in Missouri).
Eric Niles - Phoenix Police
Eric Niles – Phoenix Police
  • Fred Yazzie, 29, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Fred Yazzie - Phoenix Police
Fred Yazzie – Phoenix Police
  • Hugo Munoz, 48, Mesa: Child Sex Trafficking, Money Laundering, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Hugo Munoz - Phoenix Police
Hugo Munoz – Phoenix Police
  • Tristan Usleman, 29, AG’s Office: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation.
Tristan Usleman
Tristan Usleman – Phoenix Police
  • Raymond Rendon, 21, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking.
Raymond Rendon
Raymond Rendon – Phoenix Police
  • Jonathan Holt, 21, Mesa: Child Sex Trafficking, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor, Money Laundering.
Jonathan Holt
Jonathan Holt – Phoenix Police
  • Justin Walowitz, 39, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Justin Walowitz
Justin Walowitz – Phoenix Police
  • Mark Perry, 35, Tempe: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Mark Perry
Mark Perry – Phoenix Police
  • Otilio Rendon-Meneses, 62, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Otilio Rendon
Otilio Rendon – Phoenix Police
  • Gregory Ryan, 37, Tempe: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Gregory Ryan
Gregory Ryan – Phoenix Police
  • William Kellin, 58, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
William Kellin
William Kellin – Phoenix Police
  • Brandon Price, 34, Mesa: Aggravated Luring of a Minor, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Brandon Price
Brandon Price – Phoenix Police
  • Marcos Benitez-Leyva, 34, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Marcos Benitez-Leyva
Marcos Benitez-Leyva – Phoenix Police
  • Agustin Johnson, 59, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Agustin Johnson
Agustin Johnson – Phoenix Police
  • Karlton Clemons, 59, Phoenix: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Karlton Clemons
Karlton Clemons – Phoenix Police
  • Chris Flamard, 55, Mesa: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Chris Flamard
Chris Flamard – Phoenix Police
  • Erik Rodriguez, 37, Mesa: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor, Money Laundering.
Erik Rodriguez
Erik Rodriguez – Phoenix Police
  • Robert Favela, 37, Phoenix: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Robert Favela
Robert Favela – Phoenix Police
  • Tyvan Hunter, 33, Mesa: Child Sex Trafficking, Money Laundering and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Tyvan Hunter
Tyvan Hunter – Phoenix Police
  • Wilmont Parker, 37, Mesa: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Wilmont Parker
Wilmont Parker – Phoenix Police
  • Mark Smith, 42, Tempe: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Mark Smith
Mark Smith – Phoenix Police
  • John Meadows, 60, Phoenix: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
John Meadows
John Meadows – Phoenix Police
  • Thomas Greenlaw, 23, Chandler: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Thomas Greenlaw
Thomas Greenlaw – Phoenix Police
  • Mikhael Elkhoury, 66, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Mikhael Elkhoury
Mikhael Elkhoury – Phoenix Police
  • Thomas Fisher, 43, Tempe: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher – Phoenix Police
  • Jefferson Coffman, 55, Tempe: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
Jefferson Coffman
Jefferson Coffman – Phoenix Police
  • Brian Weigler, 58, Tempe: Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor, Luring a minor for Sexual Exploitation.
Brian Weigler
Brian Weigler – Phoenix Police
  • Hilario Samudio, 29, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Hilario Samudio
Hilario Samudio – Phoenix Police
  • Shawn Williams, 36, Phoenix: Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor, Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Possession of Dangerous Drugs.
Shawn Williams
Shawn Williams – Phoenix Police
  • Thomas Casey, 57, Mesa and Tempe: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor (two counts).
Thomas Casey
Thomas Casey – Phoenix Police
  • Stephen Alavi, 26, Mesa: Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Stephen Alavi
Stephen Alavi – Phoenix Police
  • Jessica Mihalovits, 39, Mesa: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Jessica Mihalovits
Jessica Mihalovits – Phoenix Police
  • Matthew Shaffer, 23, Mesa: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor, Furnishing Harmful Material to a Minor.
Matthew Shaffer
Matthew Shaffer – Phoenix Police
  • Nicholas Williams, 32, Phoenix: Aggravated Luring of a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sex Conduct with a Minor.
Nicholas Williams
Nicholas Williams – Phoenix Police

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LET Unity

Back in January, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on another operation aimed at protecting children that was conducted out of California – where a total of 33 children were rescued in a multi-agency endeavor. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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LOS ANGELES, CA – According to a statement released by the FBI on January 22nd, 2021, a total of 33 missing children – eight of whom were reportedly actively being sexually exploited at the time of their rescue – we’re recovered in Southern California following a joint venture that involved over two dozen law enforcement agencies and non-governmental partners.

In January, which ironically is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the FBI teamed up with the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (among other agencies) in an effort to locate missing and exploited children.

The operation that successfully recovered these 33 children was reportedly nicknamed “Operation Lost Angels”.

While the FBI did share the news of the successes associated with the operation, not too many details of the operation itself – as in the inner workings, specified agendas of various entities and so forth – have been shared by the FBI.

At least one arrest was enacted via this operation, with an individual facing state level charges under suspicions of human trafficking. Also, this joint venture has reportedly resulted in the opening of numerous investigations related to human trafficking and the ilk.

Apparently two of the victims were recovered “multiple times” in this operation – as they were known as being on the “track”, which is a term often associated with a victim who is being hosted at a place notorious for commercial sex trafficking.

FBI Los Angeles Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller noted in the press release that, unfortunately, victims returning to their abusers is a viscous cycle associated with child sex trafficking:

“It is not uncommon for victims who are rescued to return to commercial sex trafficking either voluntarily or by force, fraud, or coercion.”

“This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realize they’re being trafficked.”

Some of the other victims that were recovered in this operation are apparently facing charges with respect to various probation violations, robbery, and other misdemeanors – but it’s unclear whether any of these minor victims are going to have their feet held to the proverbial fire.

Once again, the details on these instances are, frankly, limited.

One of the children rescued was apparently the victim of a non-custodial parent kidnapping, from what the FBI detailed on this operation.

Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Kristi K. Johnson, stated the following about the success of the operation:

“The FBI considers human trafficking modern day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims.”

“While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.”

LAPD Chief Michael Moore also commented on the continued endeavors law enforcement faces when trying to combat human trafficking in all forms:

“Human trafficking is a pervasive and insidious crime that threatens the safety of our young people, who are the future of our communities.”

“We can only begin to take back the future of our youth with the strong partnerships forged between outstanding service providers and law enforcement.”

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