TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Phoenix man is now behind bars facing multiple felony charges for trafficking girls out of Arizona hotels.
Investigators with the Mesa Police Department’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking Squad arrested 37-year-old Jason Vangundy for child sex trafficking, illegal control of an enterprise with minors and money laundering, according to a news release from the department.
Vangundy met the girls through online apps, the release stated, and had at least four runaways living in his Phoenix apartment. Vangundy allegedly bought the girls phones so they could arrange sexual encounters with strangers for money.
One survivor told investigators she felt compelled to perform sex acts at the request of Vangundy because she said he bought her food, a cell phone and gave her shelter.
Police found two of the four girls, who were 16 and 17, according to the release. The other two have not been found.
Vangundy admitted to housing two of the girls, buying them phones, paying for hotels and taking money from one, the release stated. However, he denied any involvement related to prostitution.
Vangundy was booked into the Maricopa County jail on a $250,000 bond.