Man convicted of sex trafficking shot and killed by federal agent in Scottsdale, police say

Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 18:33:18-05

By KTVK Staff

(KTVK) — Scottsdale police are investigating after a federal agent shot and killed a suspect who was recently convicted of sex trafficking Friday morning in the parking lot of a shopping center near the Loop 101 and Shea Boulevard.

“The shooting involved federal agents and a male subject,” Sgt. Ben Hoster with the Scottsdale Police Dept. said in an email. “The male subject is deceased. No other injuries reported.”

Sgt. Hoster said those agents are with the Department of Homeland Security.

Hoster said the suspect has been identified as 48-year-old Erik Dunham who was recently convicted of human trafficking and failed to appear for his sentencing.

Dunham ran a Thai prostitution ring out of the east Valley back in 2016. Authorities say Dunham and his female accomplice, Patcharin Koibuchi, trafficked women from Thailand and forced them to work as escorts to pay off debts.

Koibuchi was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and three years probation.

The agents were attempting to serve a warrant for Dunham arrest for failure to appear at his sentencing hearing when the incident occurred.

“As a special agent approached the male suspect the male suspect produced a handgun and the special agent drew his service weapon and shot and killed the male suspect,” said Sgt. Hoster.

Nobody else was injured and there are no other threats to the community, Sgt. Hoster explained.

“We do know that he (the suspect) was with another party. That other party was inside of the business when the shooting occurred,” said Sgt. Hoster.

Police officers were in the area for several hours while they investigated.

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