PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Nearly 500 people were arrested across 14 states in a massive nation-wide sex trafficking sting operation.Â
A coalition of law enforcement agencies from 14 different states went after people who were buying or selling in the sex trade industry.Â
The 18-day operation resulted in the arrests of a total of 496 johns and 14 pimps.
Authorities say 91 of the arrests came from Backpage.com ads; several of them were soliciting sex from kids.Â
Out of those numbers, valley police agencies were responsible for arresting 150 people.Â
"We were able to in a week long period make a 150 arrests out of would be sex buyers," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump. "We want people to understand this is not because of Super Bowl, but with the Super Bowl coming, this may be a venue in which people believe and people believe they can come here."
28 agencies were involved, including Tempe and Phoenix Police Departments.Â
Police say the operation was not because the Super Bowl is approaching, but they're definitely sending a message that sex trafficking won't be tolerated.