Verde Valley AZ (August 29, 2014) – On August 25th and 26th, 2014, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office joined with several other law enforcement agencies to combat Human Trafficking in Yavapai County. YCSO along with Prescott PD, Prescott Valley PD, Cottonwood PD, Department of Public Safety, Department of Homeland Security/ICE, GITEM, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT), Camp Verde Marshalls Office and FBI, conducted an operation to target the buyers of child prostitutes. It is important to know that Human Trafficking is the second most prolific crime in the world, second only to narcotics trafficking in terms of revenue generated. The victims of human trafficking are often teenaged girls who, for various reasons, are forced to engage in repeated sexual assaults for the profit of a “pimp” soliciting customers for prostitutes.
“I will continue to make these types of operations a priority for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office because the goal of protecting our children from sexual predators must continue. I would like to thank all the assisting agencies for their support and participation in the investigation. On behalf of my fellow law enforcement partners, it is my hope these arrests send a message that preying on our children will not be tolerated in this County.”
— Sheriff Scott Mascher
In an effort to eliminate the demand for prostitutes, this operation targeted buyers who would otherwise willingly hire underage prostitutes for sexual gratification. After the suspects initiated contact in response to a notice from an internet publication, they made arrangements to meet the underage girls in a specified Yavapai County motel room. Over the course of the two days, the team of combined law enforcement officers apprehended those men who, despite knowing that the girls were legally considered children, were willing to exploit them anyway by way of paid sex acts.
A total of 7 adult men were arrested following their request for sex acts and presentation of payment in the hotel room. Another suspect, 37-year-old Walter Christopher, was arrested at his home in Flagstaff on August 28, 2014, following the service of a search warrant. Christopher is a registered sex offender on probation in Coconino County. Detectives documented Christopher’s arrangements for specific sex acts and his agreement to meet the “underage girls” at the motel. Christopher admitted driving to the hotel but did not follow through with the arrangements. He was charged with 2 counts of Engaging in Prostitution with a Minor and booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center. Bond has not been set.
The remaining 7 suspects were booked on at least one count of Engaging in Prostitution with a Minor: 34-year-old Donald Eden from Black Canyon City who remains in-custody on a $20,000 bond, 22-year-old Sean Holden from Flagstaff who remains in custody on a $20,000 bond, 25-year-old Martin Zazueta-Suarez from Cottonwood who remains in-custody on a $10,000 bond, 23-year-old David Flint from Corona, California who remains in-custody on a $20,000 bond, 19-year-old Israel Rodriguez from Flagstaff who was released on a $20,000 bond, and 34-year-old Issac Turincio-Villegas from Cottonwood who remains in-custody on a $20,000 bond. 25-year-old Michael Metzner from Cottonwood was booked on one count of Child Prostitution and remains in-custody on a $ 10,000 bond.
All suspects were booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center.
As indicated following a similar operation in April of this year, anyone who thinks such acts can go unnoticed should think twice before making arrangements to meet a prostitute in this County.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov