MESA, Ariz. – An Arizona man is accused of trafficking young girls for prostitution at hotel rooms in the Mesa area, authorities said.
Jason Vangundy, 37, of Phoenix, was arrested Oct. 8 at a Phoenix apartment complex, KTVK reported. He was charged with child sex trafficking, illegal control of an enterprise with minors and money laundering, according to a news release from the Mesa Police Department.
According to a news release by the police department, Vangundy allegedly met several teen girls through online apps, and would buy them cellphones so they could arrange sexual encounters.
Detectives alleged that Vangundy provided food and shelter for the runaways and requested some of their money for compensation, KNPX reported.
Two of the victims, according to police, were 16 and 17. Two other victims are still outstanding, the television station reported.
When asked about prostitution acts, police said Vangundy denied any involvement, KTVK reported. He also denied that an $80 payment from Cash App was from prostitution payments, the television station reported.
“The arrest of Vangundy is a great example of the hard work and determination exhibited daily by our HEaT Detectives,” the police department said in its release. “The important cases they work to save lives. If you or someone you know is the victim of human exploitation or trafficking, please contact your local police department.”
Vangundy was booked into the Maricopa County Jail, KOLD reported. His bail was set at $250,000.