Press Releases

Special Investigations Bureau

Posted on: May 20, 2021

Demand Reduction Sex Trafficking Operation



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Demand Reduction Sex Trafficking Operation
Station Area:Indian Wells
Written Date:May 19, 2021Time:11:10 PM
Incident Date:May 19, 2021Time:11:00 AM
Incident Location:City of Indian Wells
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Jose Tijerina / Sergeant David Morton
File Number(s):J211390042


On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, members of the Indian Wells Special Enforcement Team (SET) with the assistance of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT), Palm Desert Business District Team (BDT) and Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team (SET) conducted a demand reduction sex trafficking operation in the city of Indian Wells.

Indian Wells Set, RCAHT, Palm Desert BDT and Palm Desert SET members operated in an undercover capacity, 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 an agreement for paid sex acts, these “Johns” were then arrested upon their arrival at a pre-determined meeting location.

As a result of this enforcement effort, a total of 5 were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges. Those arrested were identified as follows:

  • Felipe Cabral, 32 of Anaheim
  • Travis White, 34 of Beaumont
  • Richard Ables, 43 of La Quinta
  • Haig Akian, 40 of Rancho Mirage
  • Jinder Singh, 41 of Yucca Valley

All subjects arrested were booked at the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

Prostitution is not a “victimless” crime. Those victimized by commercial sexual exploitation frequently have long histories of emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse or trauma in their backgrounds.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking victims are often subjected not only to severe forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those that solicit them for prostitution.

Report Human Trafficking activity or tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888. 

The Indian Wells Special Enforcement Team is asking anyone with additional information to contact Deputy Bugarin at (760) 836-1600 or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867) and reference incident # J21 139 0042.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

Felipe CabralTravis WhiteRichard AblesHaig AkianJinder Singh
Felipe CabralTravis WhiteRichard AblesHaig AkianJinder Singh

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Special Investigations Bureau