Twelve men and a 17-year-old were arrested for soliciting prostitution Wednesday morning at a Redlands hotel.
At 10 a.m. May 20, the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force, assisted by Sheriff's MET (Marijuana Enforcement Team) investigators, conducted an in-call hotel “John” operation at a hotel in the 1000 block of Colton Avenue. The suspects ranged in age from 17 to 63.
The operation is part of an ongoing effort through heavy presence and enforcement to suppress human trafficking/prostitution throughout the communities of San Bernardino County, by targeting purchasers known as “Johns.”
During the operation, undercover officers were deployed at a local hotel to pose as prostitutes through online advertisements. Online advertisements are often used as a means for the commercialized trafficking of underage victims in the sex trade. During the operation, the officers were contacted and solicited for acts of prostitution by multiple male suspects.
Upon their arrival, the suspects were taken into custody without incident and interviewed. In compliance with the statewide Emergency Bail Schedule, bail for most misdemeanor and felony offenses must be set at $0. Because of this criterion, all 13 suspects were issued citations for violation of PC 647(b)(2)- (sex buyer) solicitation for prostitution and released from custody. This included the juvenile, who was released into the custody of his parents.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force is composed of investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, San Bernardino County district attorney's office, Redlands Police Department, Ontario Police Department, California State Parole, Office of Homeland Security and the FBI.
Community involvement plays an integral part in the fight against human trafficking, and law enforcement appreciates and encourages the assistance and information provided by the public.
Anyone wishing to report activities or concerns related to human trafficking to the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force can do so directly by calling (909) 387-8400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME, or you may leave the information on the WE-Tip Hotline at wetip.com.