Paradise Valley, 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

Paradise Valley is an affluent town of about 14,000 residents in Maricopa County. Located just north of Scottsdale, it is the wealthiest municipality in Arizona and is a suburb of Phoenix. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city and surrounding areas for decades. For example, in August 2008, 55 people were indicted after the biggest sex trafficking ring investigation in state history; the ringleader for the operation worked out of a Paradise Valley estate. The joint investigation was conducted by the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office after receiving tips from Scottsdale Police.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Identity disclosure and employment loss are consequences of sex buying that have occurred in the city. In August 2012, a Paradise Valley businessman pleaded guilty to attempt to commit pandering after being caught in a reverse sting operation in Phoenix the previous year. An undercover officer posed as a 17-year-old online and the man agreed to meet her in person to pay her $100 for sex. He was arrested when he arrived at the Phoenix hotel and was indicted on one felony count of “child prostitution” (i.e., sex trafficking). The man’s identity was released to the press, and he was revealed to be the founder of Sunflower Farmers Market, which had 35 retail stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. He resigned as the company’s CEO in February 2011 following his arrest.

Key Partners

  • Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Sunflower Farmers Market
State Arizona
Type City
Population 14502
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