ST. GEORGE A prostitution ring was dismantled over the weekend as Washington County and federal law enforcement officers arrested 21 people.
Francisco Aceves-Bedolla, 24, and Silverio Flores-Mendez, 33, were booked into the Washington County Jail on Friday for investigation of exploiting prostitutes.
The Las Vegas men appear to be the heads of the operation, and they would make trips to St. George looking to solicit women as prostitutes, said Miguel Estrada, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements agent in charge for St. George.
Men in Washington County would be "contacted via a phone call, at which point arrangements would be made for the prostitutes to come to St. George from Las Vegas," he said.
Estrada said ICE officials became involved in the ring when a tip led them to believe human trafficking might be involved in the operation. At this point, investigators don't believe that is the case, Estrada said.
The investigation all but wrapped up Friday when ICE agents, along with the St. George Police Department and the Washington County Drug and Gang Task Force, took 21 people into custody.
A pair of Las Vegas women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution, and nine Washington County men were arrested for solicitation.
The remaining eight people all Mexican nationals were taken into custody by ICE officials on immigration violations, according to the St. George Police Department.