Anderson, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Anderson is a city of approximately 10,000 residents, located about 10 miles south of Redding, in Shasta County, California.  Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Shasta County. Anderson’s location is a major factor in drawing sex traffickers to the area. Its position along the North/South Interstate 5 corridor, and proximity to Sacramento and Reno, make it a logical stop on routes that pimps and traffickers routinely travel. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. The Anderson Police Department has received numerous complaints about suspicious activity at massage businesses and hotels, and have responded by conducting undercover operations. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. Anderson police have collaborated with other agencies to conduct several reverse stings, some in response to community complaints.  For example, In August, 2018 the Anderson Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Team arrested two men for solicitation of prostitution at a local motel. The investigation began when one man went to a local spa for a massage, and offered to pay for sexual services. The massage therapist declined to perform, and after continued pressure told the man to leave the establishment and reported the incident to police. An Anderson Police Officer responded to the business and took a report, and then contacted the suspect in an undercover capacity and inquired if he was still seeking sexual services. The man indicated he was, and agreed to meet the undercover officer. During the negotiations of price and services, the suspect inquired as to the price for two customers, a price was agreed upon, and a meeting was arranged at a local motel. The suspect and another man arrived at the predetermined motel, and were arrested for solicitation of prostitution and loitering for the purposes of prostitution. Both subjects were booked into the Shasta County Jail.

In September, 2018 a web-based reverse sting was conducted in which undercover officers posed as 15 and 16-year-old girls who were advertised online.  Men who responded and agreed to meet at an Anderson motel to exchange money for sex with the children were arrested.  On one day, seven men were arrested, some of whom had traveled from the cities of Redding, Shasta Lake, and Shingletown, as well as one 48-year-old suspect who traveled more than a hundred miles from Yuba City to Anderson to buy sex with a teenage girl. During the sting, officers created ads on several websites frequently used in for prostitution and sex trafficking, posing as a “young female prostitute.” When prospective customers began communicating with the undercover officers the officials identified themselves as a 15 or 16-year-old girl.  While this caused many of the people who contacted the undercover to back out of the negotiations, there was five who continued talking, negotiated a specific price for sex, agreed to meet at a local motel to engage in sex, traveled from their homes to an Anderson motel, and then took clear steps indicating an intend to engage in pre-negotiated sex acts.  Four of the five suspects also agreed to bring alcohol for the underage female, and one suspect requested nude photographs from the person he believed was a juvenile, leading to an additional charge of persuading a minor to produce child pornography. The photos, names, ages, and town of residence for all five of the arrested men were posted by police.  Members of Anderson Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit and Redding Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Unit collaborated on the undercover operation, “targeting would-be predators seeking sex with underage females,” APD explained in a social media release.  Shasta County Probation Department, Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division, and Shasta County District Attorney’s office assisted during the operation.

Key Partners

  • Anderson Police Department
  • Problem Oriented Policing Unit
  • Redding Police Department
  • Neighborhood Policing Unit
  • Shasta County Probation Department
  • Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division
  • Shasta County District Attorney’s Office

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 10232
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