MPD makes 7 arrests posing as teenage girls in online sting

MPD makes 7 arrests posing as teenage girls in online sting

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Undercover cops posing as underage girls netted more than a half-dozen arrests in Memphis. Police say the suspects agreed to meet in person

after online conversations.

People in a Cordova apartment complex had no idea that one of their neighbors spent Super Bowl Sunday in Shelby County Jail following his arrest on sex charges.

"That's really stunning," said Connie Carbno. "I'm just completely stunned."

Carbno lives right above 55-year-old Michael Vanhook. He was one of at least seven men arrested in the Saturday night sting.

Memphis police officers say each man solicited sex online from a vice unit detective they thought was a 16 or 17-year-old girl.

"I have grandkids that come over to visit," said Carbno. "And, you know, I'm just thankful he didn't kind of eye them."

According to each affidavit, the suspects agreed to meet in person at Poplar Avenue and Ridgeway Road.  That's where undercover officers were waiting.

Charles Miller, who is the father of two teenage girls, was glad to hear that potential predators were off the street.

"I just hope they find them," said Miller. "Find them and do what they will to the full extent of the law period, the end."

WMC Action News 5's Jason Miles asked Miller what he teaches his daughters.

"The standard," said Miller. "Stay away from strangers, watch out ... There are crazy people out here."

The men arrested Saturday night are charged with patronizing prostitution.  However, doing so from a person younger than 18 is also punishable
as trafficking under Tennessee law.

Here is a list of those arrested:

Tuan Nguyen, 30
Tomas Machorro-Sanchez, 30
Raghu Surapaneni, 34
Edward Slaughter, 33
James Jones, 30
Shelby Thompson, 37
Michael Vanhook, 55

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