The FBI just wrapped up a nationwide child prostitution bust with ties to the Valley.
"We have over the past nine years prosecuted over 1,000 subjects of child sex trafficking. We've recovered over 200 child victims," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Mark Hoffman.
Hoffman said child prostitution is a problem that continues to grow.
"We know that as we work an investigation and we recover victims that there are others out there, and we're not going to stop," he said.
Hoffman said the latest investigation netted 104 pimps and rescued 79 victims nationwide.
One of the suspects is 25-year-old Joshua Harvey.
According to police records, Harvey convinced an underage girl she could make fast money working as a prostitute.
Harvey was busted when police said he took the girl to a Motel 6 in Mesa, where she thought she was meeting a John, but instead found an undercover police officer.
"We look at the individuals as being victims. They are not somebody that we were targeting for criminal violations," Hoffman said.
But, he said, agents are targeting the men who pimp them out.
Police records show Harvey admitted it, saying he posted an advertisement on the website backpage.com to get business.
"As anything these days, the internet is used widely for things such as drug trafficking, could be child prostitution and fraud so obviously that is one of the areas that we would focus on," Hoffman said.
Copyright 2012 KPHO(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, September 11 2014 5:21 AM EDT2014-09-11 09:21:40 GMT
(WMC) - A Mid-South woman with a mystery illness is desperate for help that can keep her alive. WMC Action News 5 shared the story of Shanyna Isom in a special report in 2012; she grows fingernails throughMore >
WMC Action News 5 shared the story of Shanyna Isom in a special report in 2012; she grows fingernails through the hair follicles in her skin. Two years later and the cost of a mystery illness continues to threaten her life.More >
Thursday, September 11 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-09-11 20:01:52 GMT
A devastated father is mourning the loss of his son and had to take out a loan to pay for his unexpected funeral when a life insurance policy didn't come through.More >
A devastated father is mourning the loss of his son and had to take out a loan to pay for his unexpected funeral when a life insurance policy didn't come through. Darrell Fennell Sr. wanted to issue a warning to parents: check your insurance policies.More >