Phoenix police released the long-awaited "client list" from the alleged "Desert Divas" prostitution ring -- and it's sort of a dud.
When cops first announced the bust back in August, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas swore there were "big name clients" on lists kept by the suspected prostitutes.
Today, Phoenix police offered to the media a list of thousands of names in two hefty PDF documents. As promised, there were some big names on the list -- Phil Donahue, for one. Can you believe the guy can still get it up? But, c'mon -- of course it's made up.
There were a few names that matched up with prominent local people, too. Don't hold your breath waiting for any tearful confessions before TV cameras.
Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill warned at a news conference this afternoon of the probability of fake names on the list.
The alleged prostitutes obviously didn't ask for ID. The sheer number of different, specific names implies a lot of this is real. But as in the screen shot below, a few entries have simplified names like "Bob" or "Joe D.," while others used handles like "Bad Dog."
The names suggest the prostitutes serviced a mini-United Nations of customers.
"We have not identified any of these people as suspects," Hill said at the news conference.
He emphasized that it would be difficult to make a case against the supposed clients, and that the organization was the target of the investigation. Police have identified 56 suspects who were part of the ring, but expect the number will rise to more than 100, he said.
It was a fine bust, as far as escort service busts go. But it looks like Thomas' remark about "big name clients" can be chocked up to simple pre-election showmanship.
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