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'Operation Silent Predator' Takes Down Arizona Pedophile Network in Undercover Bust

Nine men indicted in undercover child sexual exploitation investigation

 on 9th April 2020 @ 1.00am
nine pedophiles were arrested by authorities as part of  operation silent predator © press
Nine pedophiles were arrested by authorities as part of 'Operation Silent Predator'

A massive undercover child abuse bust in Arizona has taken down a network of pedophiles, authorities have confirmed.

So far, nine men have been indicted in the past week on charges relating to the sexual exploitation of children after over two dozen were arrested, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office confirmed.

"Operation Silent Predator" took place in January and involved police departments in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler plus Homeland Security Investigations and Arizona AG Brnovich’s Office.

The operation’s objective was to crack down on pedophiles soliciting sexual contact with children online, authorities said.

Undercover agents pretended to be minors to lure predators as part of the operation.

State prosecutors said the nine suspects range in age from 23 to 65.

arizona attorney general mark brnovich   s office confirmed 9 men have been indicted so far © press
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office confirmed 9 men have been indicted so far

All have been indicted on charges of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.

Two of the men also are accused of child sex trafficking and the other seven face additional charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, according to Fox 10.

Those indicted by authorities in the bust are: 

  • Roy Edward Vasquez, 55, is charged with Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation, Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor, and Possession of Narcotic Drugs.
  • Colten Stacy Jourdain, 35, is charged with Aggravated Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
  • Kevin Morales Evangelista, 26, is charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
  • Patrick Edward Mai, 65, is charged with Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor, and Attempted Money Laundering.
  • Nicholas Dawn Benhart, 23, is charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
  • Jesus Eduardo Mendoza, 23, is charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
  • Lawrence Ruiz, 29, is charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
  • Tommy Diaz, 28, is charged with Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor, and Attempted Money Laundering.
  • Franklin John Omori, 57, is charged with Luring a Minor for Sexual Exploitation and Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor.  

In January, authorities arrested more than two dozen individuals suspected of child sex crimes as part of the same operation, according to WSLS.

 operation silent predator  netted 26 arrests in january © press
'Operation Silent Predator' netted 26 arrests in January

During the operational period, officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites and apps which are commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts with children.

As part of the investigation, 26 suspects were identified for soliciting and/or brokering deals for various sex acts and were subsequently arrested.

Of those 26 men, nine have now been indicted by prosecutors while the AG's office seeks to charge more.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.

Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199.

Hearing-impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

[RELATED] Illegal Aliens Are Driving Child Sex Crime in North Carolina, New Data Reveals

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