Phoenix police released Thursday what they called a list of potential "Johns," or clients, in connection to what is being called the largest prostitution bust in Arizona history. The Internet-based operation covered three states and has culminated in indictments of more than 50 people so far.
The list included thousands of names on a compact disc of more than 30,000 documents in what authorities called the "Desert Divas Operation."
Police said they want to stress that the people on the list are not considered suspects in the investigation, but people they would like to question, according to a Phoenix police-issued release.
The Phoenix Police Department began investigating the "Night Partners Entertainment-Desert Divas" escort service in August 2007, and the list of names included suspected clients linked to suspected prostitutes, whose names included Porscha, Heidi, Nikki, Mandy and Melissa.
The first wave of arrests began on Aug. 4, 2008, at a Paradise Valley estate in the 6800 block of East Sunnyvale Road that included Paul Nichta, 33, and prominent Valley radiologist Dr. Ross Levatter, 56, accused of being among the ringleaders of the operation.
The investigation was conducted in Arizona, Philadelphia and Albuquerque, N.M. During the investigation thus far, there have been more than 50 arrests of organization members, with 13 search warrants served and more than 100 prostitutes involved, police said.
Some of the alleged prostitutes still lived at home with their parents but were introduced to their potential clients through meet-and-greets, according to police.
Some of the alleged prostitutes worked for escort services such as Desert Divas LLC, Night Partners Entertainment, NPE Management Services, Hips Touring LLC, Escorts in Action, AZ Confidential and Desert Divas New Mexico, according to Phoenix police.
The operation that included "meet-and-greets" between the clients and alleged prostitutes had been in existence for seven years and generated about $250,000 in monthly income, according to Phoenix police.
This investigation is still continuing with the involvement of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and investigators expect there may eventually be as many as 100 arrests of organization members. Taking down the organization is the priority in this investigation, and then the potential clients will be sought for questioning, police said.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said in a statement, "The County Attorney's Office will review and prosecute any viable felony cases arising from this matter. The city of Phoenix will handle misdemeanor cases, as it has done in the past."