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4:04 AM Sat, Feb. 16th
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Dewey man caught in sting

Nine men, including a Dewey resident, were arrested following a multi-agency, two-day sting operation targeting solicitors of adult and child prostitutes.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office joined several area law enforcement agencies to combat human trafficking/prostitution in Yavapai County, including the Prescott Police Department, the Cottonwood Police Department, the Chino Valley Police Department, the Gang Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission task force, the FBI, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking and the Department of Homeland Security.

The nine suspects reportedly requested sex acts and made offers or presentations of payment to undercover law enforcement officers in a Yavapai County hotel room.

According to authorities, the suspects initiated contact in response to a notice from an Internet publication and made arrangements to meet the "prostitutes," which were actually undercover law enforcement officers. Over the course of the two days, Nov. 18 and 19, the team of combined law enforcement officers apprehended the suspects who, even with knowledge that some of the "prostitutes" were legally considered children, still allegedly intended to exploit them through paid sex acts.

"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," Sheriff Scott Mascher said. "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."

The suspects are:

Benjamin Tullos, 22, of Ohio, arrested for two counts of engaging in child prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in custody on $40,000 bond.

Samuel Cogo, 28, of California, arrested for engaging in prostitution with a known minor, after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He has been released after posting a $40,000 bond.

Timothy Callahan, 44, of Prescott, arrested for one count of sexual abuse after intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person he believed was a prostitute who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. He has since been released on a $3,000 bond. The sexual abuse charge resulted when the suspect fondled a female who he believed was a prostitute prior to arrest.

Craig Schoonover, 45, of Dewey, arrested for one count of engaging in prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He has since been released on a $1,500 bond. Schoonover is on probation related to prior drug offenses.

Buren "Jarrett" Burgess, 41, of Prescott, arrested for two counts of engaging in child prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes for sex. He remains in-custody on a $40,000 bond. Burgess is on lifetime probation related to prior child abuse related convictions.

Keaton Durkee, 34, of Phoenix, arrested for two counts of sexual abuse after intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person he believed was a prostitute. He has since been released on a $5,000 bond. During contact with a person he believed was a prostitute, he became aggressive and committed two acts of sexual abuse by fondling the female, who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.

Patrick Fisher, 55, of Prescott, arrested for one count of engaging in prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. Fisher has been released on $1,500 bond. He is currently on probation due to a prior domestic violence conviction.

David Lorch, 50, of Prescott, arrested for one count of engaging in prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He remains in-custody on a $1,500 bond.

Noel Astorga, 30, of Chino Valley, arrested for two counts of engaging in child prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in custody on a $20,000 bond.

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