Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Josh Hephner
File # Multiple
On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, deputies from the Southwest Station METRO Team and Community Outreach Resources Engagement Team (CORE), in partnership with personnel from the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT), conducted a comprehensive “John” prostitution sting in an effort to reduce the demand for sex trafficking in the city of Temecula.
Law enforcement personnel, operating in an undercover capacity, placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of online prostitution. After brokering an agreement for paid sexual acts, these “Johns,” were then arrested upon their arrival to the meeting location.
During the course of the operation, two adult females were contacted who were believed to be victims of human trafficking and possibly being forced to engage in acts of prostitution against their will. The identity of these victims will not be released pursuant to state confidentiality laws. The victims were referred to victim services for assistance while the investigation into sex trafficking continues.
As a result of this enforcement effort, a total of 10 men were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges, which are listed below:
|Stanley Kariuki||Cesar Maya||Chad Priest||Christopher Sias||Trenton Gelgand|
|Steven Karimi||Victor Collins||Israel Abaclopez||Tony Burks||Travis White|
All subjects arrested were booked and released from the CoisByrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
Prostitution is not a victimless crime. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that one in six 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. Southwest Station METRO and CORE, along with the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, seek to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue and apprehend those who seek to exploit those whom are most vulnerable. They will also proactively work to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
Report Human Trafficking activity or tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888
Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Deputy A. Valadez of the Southwest Station at (951) 696-3000.
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.
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