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111 arrested in Arizona child prostitution sting

PHOENIX -- An undercover investigation in which two female detectives posed as 16-year-old prostitutes has led to the arrest of 111 people in Maricopa County.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that investigators took out online ads earlier this month in hopes of finding sexual predators seeking underage prostitutes. Thirty people were arrested for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said a few men backed away when hearing that the prostitutes were 16 years old, but most still wanted to have sex with them even after hearing their age. One man who was arrested wanted to have sex with two girls before going to his daughter's 16th birthday party, Arpaio said.

``Some were lined up in the parking lot of the hotel,'' the sheriff said of those who were arrested.

Arpaio said the prostitution sting was part of a larger crackdown on street-level crime.

In addition to the child prostitution sting, the sheriff's office also had female officers pose as prostitutes to arrest people seeking to pay for sex with adults.

The crackdown netted 32 adult prostitution arrests, 21 drug-related arrests, and misdemeanor arrests at adult businesses such as strip clubs for not having a special operating permit. In total, 111 people were arrested.

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