This past weekend, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office again joined with several area law enforcement agencies to combat Human Trafficking/Prostitution in Yavapai County. YCSO along with Prescott PD, Prescott Valley PD, Flagstaff PD, Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 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 weekend, 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.
During the operation, 2 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:
Buchanan Bleeker, 18, from Flagstaff, was arrested for 1 felony count of Engaging in Child Prostitution and 1 Count of Criminal Impersonation after soliciting what he believed was 16-year-old for sex. Bleeker detailed his request prior to arrival and offered a specific cash amount during the contact. Bleeker provided a false name during his arrest, eventually giving his true name when booked. Bleeker was released on a promise to appear pending court.
Christopher Toney, 37, from Colorado, was arrested for 1 felony count of Engaging in Child Prostitution after soliciting what he believed was a 16-year-old for sex. Toney indicated he would offer a pure bred Blue Nose pit bull puppy as payment for the sex act, and did in fact bring this dog to the motel room where he was arrested. Toney remains in-custody on a $2500 bond.
Sheriff Scott Mascher - “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 remains 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: www.ycsoaz.gov