12 Arizonans Arrested in Undercover Sex-Trafficking Crackdown

PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indicted 12 Arizona men on various charges including child sex trafficking and luring a minor for sexual exploitation. 

The indictments arise out of an online undercover investigation called Operation Degrossting. It was conducted by four East Valley police agencies: Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert in cooperation with the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. The sting was conducted over three weeks in August and focused on men who were interested in engaging in sex acts with children or who lured children online for sexual exploitation.

Operation Degrossting was conducted in conjunction with the National Johns Suppression Initiative, an annual effort by law enforcement agencies across the country aimed at identifying and arresting sex buyers. 

The investigation is still ongoing.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Names of Defendants (indictments attached to names):

Brian Bush
Fernando Romero
Bryon Wood
Nathan Osborne
Frank Labarbera
Mark Bayuk
Paul Simerda
Jordan Dunn
Kenneth Palmer
Larry Jacobs
Cedric Dallas
Melquiades Garcia-Villalobos