Eight arrested in underage sex/prostitution sting
Seven men were arrested Monday and Tuesday in a prostitution sting set up by law enforcement agencies at a Camp Verde motel.
The suspects were booked on at least one count of engaging in prostitution with a minor after they allegedly sought underage teens for sex at the motel. They were arrested following their request for sex acts and presentation of payment in the room, according to Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn. An eighth arrest followed on Thursday in Flagstaff, he added.
"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," D'Evelyn said. "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."
Currently in custody in Yavapai County Jail on $20,000 bonds are Donald Eden, 34, of Black Canyon City; Sean Holden, 22, of Flagstaff; David Flint, 23, of Corona, Calif.; and Isaac Turincio-Villegas, 34, of Cottonwood. Martin Zazueta-Suarez, 25, and Michael Metzner, 25, both of Cottonwood, are in custody on $10,000 bonds. Israel Rodriguez, 19, of Flagstaff was released on a $20,000 bond.
Walter Christopher, 37, was arrested in his Flagstaff home. Christopher, police said, is a registered sex offender in Coconino County. The suspect allegedly arranged for the sex acts with underage girls, according to police, but did not follow through with the arrangements. He was later charged with two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor. His bond amount has not been set.
Other agencies involved in the sting include the Cottonwood Police Department, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Homeland Security/ICE, the GIITEM gang taskforce, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking, the Camp Verde Marshall's Office and the FBI.
Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher said he plans to make operations of this nature a priority in Yavapai County.
"The goal of protecting our children from sexual predators must continue," Mascher said in a Friday news release. "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."