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Sunflower Farmers Market CEO Michael Gilland Arrested in Prostitution Sting

Just one reason it is not a good idea to hire a prostitute over the internet to perform sexual favors is that you never know who you're really dealing with. The "prostitute" could in fact be a cop and you could end up being caught in a sting.

The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix police used to do most of their prostitution stings on the streets, but that authorities are now turning to the internet to keep up with modern times. Phoenix officers recently arrested eight people in a child prostitution sting, including 52-year-old Michael Gilliland.

Gilland allegedly offered $100 to have sex with a girl who twice told him that she was only 17 years of age, once over the internet and once in person when they met up in a hotel room. The person posing as the child prostitute was really an undercover cop and Gilland was arrested after showing up to the hotel with money.

The suspect was then released from jail after posting $12,000 bond. Solicitation of an adult prostitute is only a misdemeanor crime in the state of Arizona, but soliciting a minor is a Class 2 felony in the state.

It looks like Gilland will now need a defense attorney if he wants to avoid spending multiple years in prison for the offense. Gilland, who founded the Sunflower Farmers Market grocery chain, says that he plans to plead not guilty to the offense in court. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-3212, it is not a defense to child prostitution or solicitation that the other person is a peace officer posing as a minor or is a person assisting a peace officer posing as a minor.

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