SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista Police Department joined forces with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and arrest of nine suspects on charges connected to using the internet, including social media, to lure minors for sexual exploitation last week.
Between Tuesday and Saturday the police took into custody Kevin Echternach, Joshua Davilla, Aaron Michael Garner, Toefilo Lopez Jr., Wayne Hawkins and Alexandru Dumtrascu, all of whom were charged with felonies related to luring minors for sexual activity or having minors take sexually explicit photos.
Hawkins, of Hereford; and Echternach and Dumtrascu, both of Sierra Vista, were each booked into the Cochise County Jail on charges of aggravated luring a minor for sexual exploitation, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, and attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
Davilla, of Chandler, was arrested in Tombstone after leading police on a pursuit that began in Sierra Vista and ended in Tombstone the night of Wednesday, Feb. 13. He was booked into the jail on the same charges as the aforementioned suspects, in addition to felony flight from law enforcement and endangerment.
Garner, of Sierra Vista , was arrested by detectives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and booked into the jail on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
Lopez, a Sierra Vista resident, was booked into the jail on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations arrested three additional suspects as part of this operation. These individuals, whose names were not released, were processed and transported to the U.S. District Court in Tucson.
The investigation, lead by the Sierra Vista Police Department, began several weeks ago. The members of the local Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that participated also included the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Tombstone Marshal’s Office and officers with the Bisbee Police Department also assisted in the arrest of a subject. The ICAC provides investigative leads, dedicated training and resources to member agencies to assist in child crime investigations.
This investigation is ongoing. Investigator urge anyone with information on crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors to contact SVPD Detective Thomas Ransford at (520) 452-7500.