Press Releases

Thermal Station

Posted on: September 23, 2021

Sex Trafficking Operation



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Sex Trafficking Operation
Station Area:La Quinta
Written Date:September 23, 2021Time:1:00 AM
Incident Date:September 22, 2021Time:8:00 AM
Incident Location:City of La Quinta
Reporting Officer:Sergeant George Acevedo
File Number(s):LA212650017


On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, members of the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team (SET) with the assistance of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) conducted a sex trafficking operation in the city of La Quinta.

La Quinta SET members and RCAHT operated in an undercover capacity, placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of online prostitution. Members of this operation 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 thirteen men were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges. One of the men was also arrested for an additional misdemeanor drug charge and a second man was arrested for two outstanding felony burglary warrants.

Prostitution is not a “victimless” crime. Ninety-five percent of sex trafficking victims are women or children. 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.

The La Quinta Special Enforcement Team is asking anyone with additional information to contact La Quinta SET Deputy Eric Sanchez and Deputy Michael Scott at (760) 863-8990 or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867) and reference incident # LA21 265 0017.

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

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