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Prostitution Sting Nets Locals

Yavapai County Map Area CommandsSedona AZ (November 22, 2014)On November 18 and 19, 2014, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office again joined with several Arizona area law enforcement agencies to combat Human Trafficking and Prostitution within Yavapai County. The YCSO along with Prescott Police Department, Cottonwood PD, Chino Valley PD, the Gang Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission task force (GITEM – DPS), FBI, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) and the Department of Homeland Security conducted an operation to target the buyers of child and adult prostitutes.

It is important to understand that Human Trafficking is the second most prolific crime in the world, second only to narcotics trafficking in terms of revenue generated. The victims of human trafficking are often teenaged girls who, for various reasons, are forced to engage in repeated sexual assaults for the profit of a “pimp” soliciting customers for prostitutes.

In an effort to eliminate the demand for prostitutes, this operation targeted buyers who would otherwise willingly hire underage and/or adult prostitutes for sexual gratification. After the suspects initiated contact in response to a notice from an internet publication, they made arrangements to meet the “prostitutes,” actually undercover law enforcement officers, in a specified Yavapai County motel room. Over the course of the two days, the team of combined law enforcement officers apprehended these men who, even with knowledge some of the “prostitutes” were legally considered children, still intended to exploit them anyway through paid sex acts.

A total of 9 adult men were arrested following their request for sex acts and an offer or presentation of payment in the hotel room.

Names, details, and booking information follow:

November 18, 2014 – Benjamin Tullos, age 22, from Ohio, arrested for 2 counts of Engaging in Child Prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in-custody on $40,000 bond. 

November 18, 2014 – Samuel Cogo, age 28, from 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.

November 19, 2014 – Timothy Callahan, age 44, from Prescott, arrested for 1 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 $3000 bond. The Sexual Abuse charge resulted when Callahan fondled a female who he believed was a prostitute prior to arrest. 

November 19, 2014 – Craig Schoonover, age 45, from Dewey, Az., arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He has since been released on a $1500 bond and is currently on probation related to prior drug offenses.

yavapai county sheriff office

November 19, 2014 – Buren “Jarrett” Burgess, age 41, from Prescott, arrested for 2 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 currently on lifetime probation due to prior child abuse related convictions. 

November 19, 2014 – Keaton Durkee, age 34, from Phoenix, arrested for 2 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 $5000 bond. During contact with a person he believed was a prostitute, he became aggressive and committed 2 acts of sexual abuse by fondling the female – actually an undercover law enforcement officer. 

November 19, 2014 – Patrick Fisher, age 55, from Prescott, arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. Fisher has been released on $1500 bond. He is currently on probation due to a prior domestic violence conviction. 

November 19, 2014 – David Lorch, age 50, from Prescott, arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He remains in-custody on a $1500 bond.   

November 19, 2014 – Noel Astorga, age 30, from Chino Valley, AZ, arrested for 2 counts of Engaging in Child Prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in-custody on a $20,000 bond.

YCSO Sheriff Scott Mascher stated, “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. 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.”  

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website at www.ycsoaz.gov.

 

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