9 Arizonans Indicted in Undercover Child Sexual Exploitation Crackdown

Undercover agents were posing as minors on various social media websites and apps

– PHOENIX, Ariz. — A State Grand Jury indicted nine Arizona men in January accused of soliciting illegal sex acts from undercover agents who were posing as minors on various social media websites and applications.

In January, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted the Phoenix Police Department who partnered with Tempe Police Department, Mesa Police Department, Chandler Police Department and the Attorney General’s Office, for Operation Silent Predator. The operation was an undercover investigation targeting individuals soliciting sexual conduct with minors. In the course of the operational period, the below defendants were arrested and accused of various sex crimes offenses. Two defendants have been charged with child sex trafficking.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Assistant Attorney General Rachel Nava is prosecuting these cases.

Below are the names of the defendants, their charges, and copies of their indictments:

  1. 55-year-old Roy Edward Vasquez is charged with aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and possession of narcotic drugs. (View indictment)
  2. 35-year-old Colten Stacy Jourdain is charged with aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)
  3. 26-year-old Kevin Morales Evangelista is charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)
  4. 65-year-old Patrick Edward Mai is charged with child sex trafficking, attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and attempted money laundering. (View indictment)
  5. 23-year-old Nicholas Dawn Benhart is charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)
  6. 23-year-old Jesus Eduardo Mendoza is charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)
  7. 29-year-old Lawrence Ruiz is charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)
  8. 28-year-old Tommy Diaz is charged with child sex trafficking, attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and attempted money laundering. (View indictment)
  9. 57-year-old Franklin John Omori is charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. (View indictment)

This investigation is currently ongoing. If you have any additional information about these individuals, please contact Sergeant Mark Doty with the Phoenix Police Department at (602) 262-6151.


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