HSI charges six in Arizona child human trafficking operation

Officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by individuals seeking to engage in illegal sex acts.

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PHOENIX — Last week, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) partnered with the Mesa Police Department and the Attorney General’s Office in a four-day undercover operation that resulted in the arrest of six local men for child sex crimes.

Operation Leather Mitt targeted the demand for child sex crimes and human trafficking in the area.

Officers and undercover detectives placed ads on websites commonly sought out by individuals seeking to engage in illegal sex acts. The suspects solicited and/or brokered deals for various sex acts with children, and were subsequently arrested and charged with crimes ranging from money laundering and luring to attempted sex conduct with a minor and child sex trafficking.

HSI Phoenix and the Mesa Police Department routinely join forces to conduct enforcement actions in a continuous effort to reduce the demand that fuels child and human sex trafficking from our community.


The suspects arrested in this operation ranged in age from 21 to 56 years. Their names and charges are as follows:

  • Jonathan Techur — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
  • Douglas Klingenberg — luring, attempted sexual conduct with a minor
  • Julio Miranda Arana — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
  • Zachary Babbitt — luring; attempted sexual conduct with a minor
  • Ricky Hrubienski — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering
  • Shane Blanton — child sex trafficking; attempted sex conduct with a minor; money laundering

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI is a directorate and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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