Is Arizona a Hub of Child Sex Trafficking? Why does Arizona Take the Highest Percentage of Children from their Homes?
by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
It has been well-documented that the State of Arizona removes children from their homes and places them in foster care at a rate that is higher than any other state in the U.S. See:
In 2015, Arizona House Democrats wrote a letter to the governor asking why this rate continues to increase, and has reached a rate of 1 out of every 100 children in Arizona is in foster care. See:
Arizona Continues Record Pace of Taking Children out of Homes into State Custody – Now 1 of every 100 Children in Foster Care
In 2017, reporter Bob Ortega ran a series of articles on the state of Child Welfare in Arizona in the Arizona Republic.
The front page of a January Sunday edition (seen above) of the Arizona Republic had a photo with this inscription:
“Every 40 minutes, an Arizona child is removed from his or her home. We’re still asking, Why?”
In 2017, Health Impact News reported on the arrest of Arizona foster parent David Frodsham, who allegedly ran a child pornographic and pedophile ring out of his state-approved foster home.
After he was arrested, one of his foster children, Devani, was placed into another state-approved foster home where 80% of her body was burned by scalding water, forcing the amputation of her toes. See:
Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body
Another boy who was part of his foster home aged out of the system at 18, and filed a lawsuit for $15 million for years of torture and sexual abuse. See:
Arizona Foster Care System Revealed as Pedophile Ring: Former Foster Child Tortured for Years Sues for $15 Million
Why are these horrific situations allowed to continue in Arizona? Why was it necessary to bring in federal agents in the arrest of David Frodsham? Is there something going on in Arizona preventing local authorities from dealing with what appears to be a massive child trafficking system?
Maria Hoffman: Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy
In 2014, Health Impact News editor Brian Shilhavy wrote an article about Maria Hoffman, the “Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy.” See:
Several Arizona families whose stories we had published on our MedicalKidnap.com website had complained about their dealings with Ms. Hoffman.
Hoffman is not an elected official, but a contractor for the State of Arizona who reports directly to the President of the Senate. It is reported that all lawmakers in Arizona, whether in the House or the Senate, are told to not deal with any of their constituents’ concerns about their children being removed from their home and placed into State custody, but to refer all of these matters to her only.
If a parent or anyone else tries to contact Hoffman about a case, we have been told that she refuses to discuss the case and uses threats and intimidation to try and silence anyone questioning a child welfare case.
In 2014, we published an email exchange between a child advocate in Massachusetts trying to help a young mother get her daughters back and Maria Hoffman which confirmed this practice was going on:
From: Kristi Devine
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 12:28 PM
To: Maria Hoffman
Subject: Urgent Matter
Dear Ms. Hoffman:
In accordance with any number of emails you have sent out, you are THE liaison between “… all ‘children and family issues’ for all members of the Arizona Senate.” You go on to say that “the people” have no right to petition legislators in the state of Arizona for anything unless they have a premonition of what is to happen, because, according to you, once anything egregious happens, there is no recourse to petition legislators as it is in the courts. That begs the question, why do you have any such job function when there is nothing to that job, and all people are shut down before they have reason to petition legislators?
I also question your job function in the wake of the fact that now, and long before, Arizona has had unbelievable and unconscionable problems with it’s CPS/DCF agency. They have been funded hundreds of millions of dollars to care for the children in their system, and yet nobody is held accountable for anything, most especially, wrongdoing that amounts to child abuse in state custody. WHO do “the people” petition their grievances to for the following when children in Arizona are being kidnapped by the state, by the very agency the Governor saw fit to abolish because it is so out of control?
CPS is breaking their own rules every single day in ways that are destroying families throughout the state, and causing far reaching and long lasting damages to Arizona’s most important, and most vulnerable, the children . . . Arizona’s and America’s future! Moreover, THEY ARE BREAKING ARIZONA’S LAWS!!!
1. CPS never filled the oversight panel.
2. CPS is not following their own laws such as holding a trial within 90 days.
3. Children are being abused while under the state’s care.
4. Arizona is taking so many children right now that there is no room to house them and they are sleeping in CPS offices. (This is stated to be over 32 children a day!)
5. Parents are screaming foul play as rights are being terminated without trials.
6. Out of state (unlicensed in this state), specialists are being hired to testify against parents at the taxpayers expense.
7. Children are being entered into drug trials, being starved without their feeding tubes and forced to have bone marrow transplants by local hospitals.
8. Judges are teaching judges that money is more important than returning the children (so make sure you check the right box so that the state can get federal funds to rip children out of loving homes with no investigation or evidence before doing so!)
9. A billionaire scientist is behind a new super computer at Phoenix Children’s hospital, which happens to be the hospital that is taking the most children in Arizona.
10. Arizona takes more children than any other state in the country.
11. Parents are gagged, and/or being threatened to be gagged, or arrested for speaking out on what is happening to their own families and children.
12. There are financial incentives to adopt children out, and away from their loving families.
13. Phoenix Children’s Hospital gets $865 every time they turn a child over to CPS.
The list goes on and on, and every citizen of Arizona’s rights, most especially parental and free speech rights, is under attack. You are not only saying there is no recourse, but are even threatening JAIL for those that speak out, and seek recourse from our legislators, and JAIL for the legislators themselves:
Again, (you say) this is a judicial matter, a federal matter, and that is why no member of the Arizona Senate or a member of the Arizona House of Representatives or the governor can get involved–that would be against our Arizona Constitution regarding “separation of powers” and against our Arizona laws and a judge would have the right to have any elected official who tries to investigate or get involved to hold that person “in contempt of court”. The fine for that could be jail time, a financial fine or a combination of the two.
And so I ask you, how do the people of Arizona speak out against wrongs and even government officials who are breaking the LAW, and how do they protect their children against the abuse and assault on them by these law breakers? What exactly do you suggest “we the people” to do in the face of such tyranny, government sanctioned kidnapping, and the destruction of families?
The Revolution was over Tea and Taxes. We seek more peaceful remedies over an assault far greater, i.e., an assault by the government on Families and Children. Please advise on how we may STOP this carnage. You seem to provide no options, and I still believe in AMERICA!
Kristi L. Devine
From: Maria Hoffman
To: Kristi Devine
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 3:51 PM
Subject: RE: Urgent Matter
Ms. Devine: I am not a legislator–the 90 members of the Arizona Legislature–30 members of the Senate–and 60 members of the Arizona House of Representatives–make the laws.
If a bill passes out of both chambers, then the bill goes to the Governor. The Governor can veto the bill, sign the law or let it become a law without her signature.
The Legislature does not go back into session until the second Monday of January and in most cases, the bills usually go up to the Governor between May to June, which means if the bill is to become law, then it usually won’t take effect until September–in other words, September of 2015.
I do not make laws.
And, once a Superior Court Judge signs a motion/petition from the Attorney General’s Office to place a child into state custody, if the Judge signs the motion/petition to place the child in state custody, then the child is in protective custody of the Judge.
Only a Superior Court Juvenile Judge can close a case and return a child to the parent(s) or sever the child from the parent(s) and decide who adopts.
Once any matter involves a Judge of any type–a City Magistrate, a JP, a Superior Court Judge, a Court of Appeals Judge, a Supreme Court Justice–NO elected official in Arizona at any level–and this includes the Governor, members of the Arizona Legislature, a Mayor, a member of a County Board of Supervisors, etc.–can intervene in, investigate or change a decision made by a Judge.
Our Arizona laws and our Arizona constitution do not allow any intervention of any kind or change of a judicial decision by an elected official–that would be against the law.
I want to advise you on another matter. You are putting in writing statements regarding a current Superior Court Judicial matter–you are in violation of the state law regarding stating confidential matters about a state dependency matter in Superior Court/Juvenile Division. You can be held in contempt of court by the Superior Court Judge and a person doing this can be subject to a fine, jail time and/or a combination of the two.
Ms. Devine’s reply (in part):
With regard to your claim that “You are putting in writing statements regarding a current Superior Court Judicial matter–you are in violation of the state law regarding stating confidential matters about a state dependency matter in Superior Court/Juvenile Division. You can be held in contempt of court by the Superior Court Judge and a person doing this can be subject to a fine, jail time and/or a combination of the two.”
I seek clarification for how I, or others seeking answers and transparency could be found in contempt of court when we are neither under any unconstitutional gag order, or writing statements regarding any particular case currently in Superior Court, but rather, ALL cases where children have been unjustly taken from their loving families.
Health Impact News also contacted someone who formerly worked in the Arizona Legislature and has had dealings with Ms. Hoffman in the past, to ask about some of the allegations made about Ms. Hoffman, and the threatening manner in which she addressed Ms. Devine.
Here is what that person, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated:
As a representative of elected officials, she is standing in the way of accountability with elected officials and agencies. Hoffman threatens that Kristi and others who question her and the system are breaking state law and can be held in contempt, without backing it up by citing the law. Where is that “law”?
She is intimidating people with threats of contempt. But we don’t need a lesson in government; we know how it works.
Where is the accountability for Hoffman? She is part of what appears to be a cover-up. She is acting as a barrier to truth and transparency. The system seems to be hiding something, but Hoffman is hindering those trying to learn what it is.
Is the agency being held accountable? Parents can’t fight for themselves in this kangaroo court. Checks and balances are needed, and that IS the job of the legislative branch. The judges aren’t elected.
Apparently not much, if anything, has changed since we published this in 2014, as Health Impact News has learned that Maria Hoffman has been under contract for the same position, Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy, since 2014, and is currently under contract through June 30, 2019.
Who is Maria Hoffman?
Details about Maria Hoffman and how she came into this consultant position are sketchy at best.
This is her LinkedIn Page (where most people keep their resume), for example:
Health Impact News has been able to find a few details about her, however.
Tumbleweed – Home for Runaway Teens
In 1975, Hoffman was one of the founders of “Tumbleweed,” a Phoenix shelter for runaway teens. 
By 1979, it housed up to nine females and four males in a 55-year-old inner city house. It had six full-time and five part-time staff, and housed 250 youth and counseled an additional 300 in 1978.
Tumbleweed received funding from “YDB, LEAA, the City of Phoenix and the United Way.” 
Funding to start Tumbleweed was “with tremendous support” from the Soroptimists. 
The Soroptimist International of Phoenix Collection, which was donated to the Arizona Historical Foundation on November 6, 2009, and was then donated to the Arizona Historical Society in 2012 where it currently resides, states this about the Phoenix Soroptimists:
Soroptimist International of Phoenix is currently one of the largest Soroptomist clubs in the world.
Its members represent the downtown and central Phoenix communities of executive and professional women.
The club was chartered in 1936, and membership is by invitation.
Each member is “classified” according to the principal activity of the company, institution for which she works or spends occupational time.
It is a charitable organization which focuses on numerous service projects to benefit women and children. Its program areas are economic and social development, health, education, environment, human rights/status of women, and international goodwill and understanding.
The club was a co-founder and principal supporter of Girls Ranch and Tumbleweed.
Over the decades club membership has included Arizona leaders, such as Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justices Lorna Lockwood and Ruth McGregor; Secretary of State and Governor Rose Mofford; Secretary of State Betsy Bayless, and other prominent Phoenix professional women such as Jana Bommersbach, Dorothy McLaughlin, Anne Lindeman, and Margaret Rockwell.
So the group behind the founding of Tumbleweed was a group of rich and powerful people where membership is by invitation only.
Executive Director Arizona Council of Centers for Children and Adolescents
By 1990, Maria Hoffman had attained the position of Executive Director Arizona Council of Centers for Children and Adolescents in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1990, the Arizona Supreme Court appointed her to a task force that apparently created her current position as Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy.
In 1999, the Arizona Council of Centers for Children and Adults (ACCCA) merged with the Arizona Association of Behavioral Health Programs to form the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers and the Arizona Foundation for Human Service Providers. (Source)
Questions that Parents and Advocates in Arizona are Asking About Maria Hoffman that Need Answers
- Is the position of Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy a position anyone can apply for?
- What are the qualifications for this critical position?
- Where does the funding for this position come from? Are the funds for the contract/position State, Federal, or Grant?
- Is there a yearly bidding procurement process to achieve the highest qualified vendor/provider?
- Is there a yearly evaluation for this position?
- Is Arizona the only state to have this kind of position, or do other states have similar positions?
- Does this position have a background check and fingerprint clearance card?
Health Impact News has reached out to Maria Hoffman for comment, but at the time of publication she has not responded yet.
If you have had experience in dealing with Maria Hoffman in the state of Arizona and would like to share your experience, please contact us.
Child Sex Trafficking in Arizona: Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin of BackPage.com
In April of 2018, federal law enforcement officials arrested Arizona residents Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin after years of investigating their involvement in human trafficking, including child sex trafficking, mainly through their online classified ads website “Backpage.com.”
The website was also seized and closed down.
While Backpage was presented to the public as a general online classified ads directory, most of its profits were derived from illegal prostitution and child sex trafficking, bringing in over $500 million in sales according to court documents.
Backpage.com has been linked to 73 percent of all child trafficking in the United States, as was revealed in a Senate investigation in 2017.
A Senate investigation into child-sex trafficking has uncovered evidence that employees of a major sex advertising website deleted incriminating evidence from ads posted on its site — allegedly helping to conceal illegal activity, rather than reporting it to authorities.
The website, Backpage.com, used a filter that automatically stripped out words that would have revealed a child was being sold for sex—terms such as “Lolita,” “amber alert,” “fresh,” and “school girl,” according to a report issued … by a Senate investigative panel.
Backpage is involved in 73 percent of all child trafficking reports that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children receives from the general public, the report says, adding that the site has been called a “hub” of “human trafficking, especially the trafficking of minors” by law enforcement officials.
More than 400 cases of child sex trafficking across 47 states have been linked to the website — including at least 13 in Ohio and six in Missouri over the last several years. Those figures stem from a probe, launched in 2015 by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who lead the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs’ investigatory subcommittee. (Source.)
A new law (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) to fight online sex trafficking passed with strong bipartisan support (it passed the Senate with a 97-to-2 vote) targeting Backpage was signed into law by President Trump around the same time as the FBI raid.
Lacey and Larkin, while residing in Arizona, escaped prosecution for years, even after appearing at the 2017 Senate hearing.
Even after the FBI seized their Arizona homes and shut down their website, they taunted their opponents, seeming to have no fear of reprisal.
Phoenix New Times, founded by Lacey and Larkin themselves as part of their media empire, reported in August of 2018:
With monitoring devices clapped to their ankles and the might of the federal government arrayed against them, veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin recently did something nearly all lawyers in the universe would advise their clients not to do: They talked to a journalist and took aim at their powerful enemies, who include the recently deceased Senator John McCain and his widow, Cindy.
In a widely read interview published August 21 in Reason magazine with associate editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown, the former owners of both Phoenix New Times and the online listings giant Backpage.com spoke for the first time since the FBI seized the Backpage.com website and shut it down in April as part of a 93-count indictment related to the facilitation of prostitution, conspiracy, and money-laundering.
Lacey, 70, and Larkin, 69, could spend the rest of their lives in prison if convicted. Still, the pair were at their pugnacious best in their discussion with Brown, arguing that the case against them is political payback for their years of speaking truth to powerbrokers.
Over time Lacey’s and Larkin’s local enemies have included disgraced former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Phoenix police chief Ruben Ortega. But their most formidable foes may be the McCains. (Source.)
Lacey and Larkin may not be smiling much today, however, as hundreds of millions of dollars of their assets have been seized by the government through forfeiture from banks all over the world, as revealed to the public on January 22, 2019 from the U.S. District Court in Arizona Notice.
The original complaint for seizure of their assets states:
The Subject Assets, including the Defendant Assets, represent property derived from or traceable to proceeds to multiple knowing violations of federal laws constituting SUA, including 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591 (Sex Trafficking of Children) and 1952 (Interstate and Foreign Travel in Aid of Racketeering Enterprise). The Defendant Assets are therefore subject to forfeiture pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C).
There are some interesting names belonging to assets that were seized, such as over $10 million seized from the “Perkins Coie Trust Company.”
Perkins Coie is a very famous International law firm that has worked to shape foster care laws in several states, including Arizona.
Were Child Sex Trafficking Victims of Backpage Recruited from Foster Care?
Since very few of the court documents against Arizona residents Lacey and Larkin have been unsealed at this point, it is difficult to determine how many of the children trafficked via Backpage came out of foster care, but it could be one reason why Arizona leads the nation in percentage of children taken out their homes and placed into foster care.
It has already been widely reported that many, if not most, of the children who are victims of sex trafficking do, indeed, come out of foster care. See:
Health Impact News reader Sharon Kramer, an Advocate for Integrity in Health Marketing, contacted us concerning Lacey and Larkin’s other media companies (besides Backpage.com) that have potential ties to foster care. She has allegedly been involved in trying to expose CDC corruption in regards to science surrounding mold, and she claims she has been attacked by one of Lacey and Larkin’s publications.
Backpage.com was headquartered in Phoenix. It was owned by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. They also ran a non-profit to “help” migrant children entering the country w/o adults.
Lacey and Larkin also owned Village Voice Media LLC. One of the publications of VVM was LAWeekly.
Jill Stewart was the editor of LAWeekly and she was close to Lacey and Larkin. One of her protégé-authors beginning around 2008 was Daniel Heimpel.
He wrote a hit piece of me for exposing the insurance industry’s science fraud in the mold issue in 2008 — w/the CA courts still framing me for libel w/fraudulent court documents to this very day to keep that scam going.
I am still trying to get the Federal Government Accountability Office GAO to intercede to shut down the CDC-backed junk science in the mold issue — that is used to commit insurer fraud in mold litigations.
I complained to Lacey and Larkin to no avail.
The next thing I knew, Heimpel had risen to stardom as an advocate for foster care. He’s gotten bigger as the years have gone on.
Stewart is one of his advisors. See “Fostering Media Connections“
Unaccompanied Minor Children Crossing the Border: Arizona’s Other Pipeline to Foster Care and Child Sex Trafficking?
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) published a six-month investigation in 2016 looking at 125,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the U.S. borders into the United States since 2011, reportedly fleeing violence and unrest in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
This U.S. Senate report concluded that the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has failed to protect these children from human trafficking, leaving them vulnerable to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers.
U.S. law requires HHS to ensure that unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are protected from human trafficking and other forms of abuse.
However, this is not happening.
The fact that the United States is a popular destination for child trafficking has been well documented:
The causes of the surge of UACs are disputed, but all stakeholders, including HHS, agree that one reason UACs come to this country is that they are ‘brought into the United States by human trafficking rings.’
According to the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report, ‘[t]he United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, transgender individuals, and children—both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals—subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.’
Human trafficking involves transporting or harboring human beings, often for financial gain, through the use of fraud, force, or coercion. (Report)
Many of these unaccompanied alien children end up in foster care.
Lewis Arthur and Veterans on Patrol
One man who has apparently had enough of the child sex trafficking in Arizona and is actually doing something about it, is Lewis Arthur, head of Veterans on Patrol based out of Tucson, Arizona.
In May of 2018, he led a group of veterans out searching for homeless veterans, part of their mission in trying to prevent veteran suicides.
When they found a structure powered by solar lights, they knew right away they had found something that certainly was not constructed by homeless people or drug addicts.
They found an underground chamber where young children apparently had been imprisoned, presumably as part of a pedophile sex trafficking ring. Here is a video recording of the underground chamber:
The group alerted local law enforcement and Homeland Security to investigate, and to bring out “cadaver dogs” to look for bodies, but they would not respond.
After nearly 24 hours of no Investigator showing and the Department of Homeland Security making a PHONE ASSESSMENT declaring that no Human Trafficking was occurring in our area… Alpha Company invited Fox News to come get a first hand look at rape trees, an underground child prison cell, and new construction going in to expand child holding capabilities. This is occurring not on our Border… but in our own City… Tucson, Arizona.
The Child Sex Traffickers took a hit when VOP and ARC discovered their secret Camp… but they will just move on and start again elsewhere (unless we find them first, and we are looking.)
VOP finally found out the name of the company who owned the property where the child sex camp was found, and it is a company called Cemex.
Cemex had their attorneys make a complaint to the police asking them to remove VOP, or else they would send their own security to remove them.
Who is Cemex? Others have investigated the company and found out some things about them.
They have connections to powerful people such as the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation:
According to Bizapedia, the address of Cemex is 1501 BELVEDERE ROAD WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33406.
But a search finds 186 companies using the exact same address. (Source.)
See our previous coverage regarding VOP and their patrols of child trafficking cartel corridors coming across the border into Arizona:
BREAKING: Vet Group Finds Pedophile Child Sex Camp Near Tucson – Local Law Enforcement Refuses to Help as Tensions Rise
Arizona Veterans Group Calls Out Local Law Enforcement and Mayor for Covering Up Pedophile Trafficking
Veteran’s Group in Arizona Confronts Police on Inaction – Finds Child’s Dead Body While Authorities Stand By
Arthur and his group of veterans have been joined by many people from around the world who saw his original reports live-streamed on their Facebook Page, but Facebook has since taken down the page, and VOP and Arthur face much opposition from local authorities and the corporate-sponsored media as they try to discredit him and stop his patrols, which he states is having an effect in driving out the “coyotes” from their backyard.
They now blog at Walking for the Forgotten.
Will Anything Change in Arizona?
What Health Impact News has attempted to do with this report is present factual data, and now it is up to others to connect the dots and continue investigating the problems in Arizona, where children are taken away from their families and put into the custody of the state at a higher rate than anywhere else in the U.S.
Some tough questions must be asked.
Besides the questions we posted above regarding the office of Director of the Arizona Legislative Office of Family Advocacy and Maria Hoffman, we must ask the question: why is this problem allowed to continue in the state of Arizona?
Why did it take federal law enforcement to arrest David Frodsham and bust up his pedophile child pornographic operation in his state-approved foster home?
Why did it take federal law enforcement to arrest Lacey and Larkin and finally shut down Backpage.com?
Where is Governor Doug Ducey in all this, or his Attorney General, Mark Brnovich? Are they part of the problem, or a hope for the solution?
What will you do with this information, citizens of Arizona? Will anyone take a stand like Lewis Arthur and his group of veterans are and try to protect the most helpless members of our society? Or will their voices, and the news in this article, just fade away?
1. “Runaway flees, but hurt stays,” by Catherine Retzlaff Creno, The Arizona Republic, Sunday, August 13, 1989.
2. Runaway Youth Program Directory, August 1979, The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Law Enforcement Assistance Administration U.S. Department of Justice
3. “Runaway flees, but hurt stays,” by Catherine Retzlaff Creno, The Arizona Republic, Sunday, August 13, 1989.
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