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Sex trafficking sting leads to arrests of 20 ‘Johns’

Photo courtesy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

On August 13, members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT), in partnership with personnel from the Norco Sheriff’s Station, conducted a sex trafficking demand reduction operation in the City of Norco. 

Operating in an undercover capacity, officers placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of online prostitution.

These same task force members then responded to prospective customers replying to these prostitution advertisements. After brokering an agreement for paid sex acts, these “Johns” were then arrested upon their arrival at an area hotel. 

A total of 20 men were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges, said officials. All subjects arrested were booked and released from the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. 

Anyone with questions or information about this operation can contact Sergeant John Sawyer of the RCAHT Task Force at 951-955-1700.

The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2010 to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion. These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCAHT Task Force is a multidisciplinary task force that combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement.

The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation SafeHouse and Million Kids. The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with part-time participation of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.

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