Homeland Security Agents Receive Handjobs in Lake Havasu ‘Human Trafficking’ Stings

HSIPolice
Cops are not supposed to commit crimes, but that rule doesn't seem to apply to the feds. (Photo via Homeland Security website)
According to unredacted docs obtained by Lake Havasu's News-Herald, some federal cops obtained handjobs during their investigations of local massage parlors.

Federal agents investigating several Mohave County, Arizona massage parlors in 2018 received handjobs from victims they were looking to free from lives of sexual slavery, according to unredacted public records recently published in Lake Havasu’sToday’s News-Herald.

Seven people were arrested and charged in September of last year in what federal and local law enforcement agencies portrayed as a takedown of a “transnational criminal organization” involved in human trafficking in Lake Havasu and Bullhead cities. But a lurid cache of documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tells a less glamorous tale of federal gendarmes acting as de facto vice cops, and scoring stroke jobs along the way.

The reports leaked to News-Herald reporter Brandon Messick indicate that undercover agents with the department’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) paid women at the massage parlors a flat fee of anywhere from $50 to $80 and then haggled over the amount of a tip for sexual services, which ran from $50 to $120.

“The female then placed oil on her hands and began to stroke the [agent’s] penis. After a few minutes the female stopped and gave the [agent] a wet towel to clean himself.” — from DHS files.

According to the documents, the crackdown, which took place in coordination with police departments in both cities, was dubbed “Operation Asian Touch,” which sounds both racist and cruelly sarcastic given that the women involved were arrested after allegedly performing sex acts on federal cops.

Many of the accounts read like bad porn, such as the following passage from one report:

“The female attempted to performed [sic] oral sex, but the [agent] immediately stop her[sic]. [Agent] removed the condom and told her to masturbate him. The female then placed oil on her hands and began to stroke the [agent’s] penis. After a few minutes the female stopped and gave the [agent] a wet towel to clean himself.”

Messick writes in his story that, “The agents received sexual services from women at each location, the report said, but never to completion.”

However, the appearance of a “wet towel” (and in one case “a bucket”) in some of these reports at least suggests there may have been body fluids to clean up in addition to any lotion. Front Page Confidential emailed Messick on this point, but has yet to receive a response.

Lake Havasu defense attorney Brad Rideout represents one of the women charged in the case. He says that regardless of whether or not undercover agents received a happy ending, they were still engaging in sexual conduct.

“There’s no exception in Arizona law for that,” he tells Front Page Confidential.

Multiple charges against two other women for sex trafficking, prostitution and money laundering  have been dropped because the feds involved in the case are reportedly not being made available by DHS to testify.

Rideout’s client is scheduled to go to trial on one count of money laundering at the end of January.  He’s prepping for battle till he hears otherwise. In the meantime, he wants the county attorney’s office to cough up info on two HSI agents involved in the stings, known only as “Arturo” and “Sergio.”

His motion notes that the two federal agents’ “sexual encounters with these immigrant women,” some of whom spoke little English, were used by local law enforcement to obtain search warrants for the businesses and homes of the defendants. Rideout says that without their last names, the DHS will just tell him to go pound sand if he seeks to subpoena them.

“We’re asking for Brady material to see how officers are able to have sex with people they identify as victims,” he explains.

Rideout says the feds’ actions in this case violate what he calls the four C’s: “Cops can’t commit crimes.”

“Local cops around here…they’re pretty hardcore about that,” he claims. “So it’s really surprising you have the federal government, which is usually stricter, doing it.”

“Our understanding of [Homeland Security] policy is that their investigators are allowed to participate in sex acts while working undercover.” — Lake Havasu City Police Chief Dan Doyle

But it does happen in local sex stings, such as a notorious one that occurred in the early aughts, implemented by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office under the command of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Some 60 women were arrested, but the county attorney’s office refused to prosecute the cases because Arpaio’s deputies, and members of his posse, stripped down and engaged in sex acts with the defendants.

Lake Havasu City Police Chief Dan Doyle told the News-Herald’s Messick that any such misconduct would not be tolerated in his department.

Interestingly, Doyle also informed Messick that, “Our understanding of [Homeland Security] policy is that their investigators are allowed to participate in sex acts while working undercover.”

A federal flack offered a tepid defense of  the HSI agents in a prepared statement to Messick.

“Our trained law enforcement professionals adhere to the Department’s mission and uphold our laws while continuing to provide our nation with safety and security,” it reads.

Rideout’s motion to compel, also quoted in the Messick piece, offers the best retort for this weak tea.

In it, the lawyer notes that DHS was created after the 9/11 attacks with the mission of shielding the country from terrorism.

He concludes, “It is unclear how [a federal officer] having sexual relations with human trafficking victims in Mojave County, Arizona protects the nation from terrorist attack or secures the borders.”

For more shenanigans from federal law enforcement, please read:
FBI Shattered Backpage Evidence ‘Into a Million Pieces,’ Says Expert
and
Witnesses Describe FBI’s Mishandling of Computer Servers in Backpage Takedown

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About Stephen Lemons

Stephen Lemons is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering everything from government corruption to white-supremacist gangs. In addition to Front Page Confidential, his work has appeared in Phoenix New Times, the Los Angeles Times, Salon.com, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report magazine.

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