Maricopa, AZ

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Maricopa is a city of approximately 58,000, located in the greater Phoenix metro area, in Pinal County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity has been well-documented in the city, surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking. For example, in 2006 Tempe police arrested a 68-year-old man who ran a large-scale prostitution ring out of seven apartments he leased in the Phoenix area, including Tempe, Phoenix, Queen Creek, and Maricopa. Undercover detectives infiltrated the ring and the five-month investigation came to an end when police executed search warrants on the properties.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have arrested men seeking commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. For example, in March 2017, a man was arrested at a park in Maricopa for allegedly trying to solicit a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old girl. The man was booked into the Pinal County Jail on the additional charges of child prostitution and transporting or financing the transportation of a minor with the intent of the minor engaging in prostitution. The suspect drove to a playground at a Recreational Center in Maricopa, located near John Wayne Parkway and the Maricopa- Casa Grande highway, and allegedly got the victims’ attention by honking the horn to come over to his vehicle. Once the young women came over to his vehicle, suggesting he wanted to pay money, even showing them a stack of $100 bills, to have the girls perform sex on him or each other. Parts of this interaction were captured on one of the victim’s smartphone devices. The attempts were unsuccessful, and the girls quickly called the police. He was later taken into custody and transported to the Maricopa Police Department station.

Key Partners

  • Maricopa Police Department
  • Tempe Police Department
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Pinal County Jail
State Arizona
Type City
Population 58125
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