|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Banning is a city of nearly 30,000 residents located in the Inland Empire region of California, to the west of Riverside along Interstate 10. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. At least one reverse sting has been conducted in Banning. In 2008, the Banning Police Department placed an undercover officer on a city street as a decoy, and she was approached by four men who offered to pay her for sex. The names and ages of the men arrested, as well as the town of their residence, were released to the media.
In January, 2023, a series of law enforcement operations throughout Riverside County targeting suspects seeking or engaged in illicit sexual services produced 31 arrests. The county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force joined other agencies statewide in “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild,” with the goal of suppressing the sex trade by targeting sex buyers, as well as identifying and supporting victims, and apprehending sex traffickers. The effort in Riverside County occurred when identical sweeps were taking place in numerous other jurisdictions across California. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild netted a total of 368 arrests and 131 rescues statewide. In Riverside County, arrests were made in Banning, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Perris, Riverside, San Jacinto, Temecula and Wildomar. About the operation, a Sergeant with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said,
“The operation targeted online prostitution and those whose demand for these unlawful activities fuels an illicit underground economy, both locally, as well as across the state. Often, individuals engaging in acts of prostitution are being forced to commit sexual acts against their will.”
Most of the individuals apprehended in the Riverside County operation were booked on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution, though one was additionally taken into custody for alleged pimping, and various services and resources were provided and offered to seven rescued victims. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in a press release by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.
- Banning Police Department
- Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT)
- Riverside County Sheriff’s Office
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Briefs; Banning Police Sweep Takes Aim at Prostitution,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 5 1996.
- “10:29 a.m.: Four Arrested in Banning for Prostitution Solicitation,“ San Bernardino Sun, August 18 2008.
- “Sweeps Reducing Prostitution; INLAND: The Activity Has Decreased, Police and Other Officials Say, But Solicitations Still Pop up on the Internet,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 5 2009.
Background on Prostitution in the City:
- “Briefs; Banning Prostitution Sweep Results in 5 Arrests,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, March 26 1996.
- “Incident: Pandering and Prostitution,” Press Release, Banning Police Department, November 12 2008.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://patch.com/california/prostitution-sting-nets-31-arrests-across-riverside-county (2023)
- https://www.riversidesheriff.org/Operation Reclaim and Rebuild 2023 (2023)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Region:
- “Nine Indicted on Child Sex Trafficking Charges”, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 15 2009.
- “NAACP Riverside Meeting to Focus on Human Exploitation and Trafficking”, Black Voice News, April 14 2011.
- “Human Trafficking a Problem in Inland Area, Police Say”, Riverside Post-Enterprise, April 25 2011.
- “Two Sentenced in Sex-Trafficking Cases”, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7 2011.
- “CORONA: Human Trafficking a Reality in Inland Area, Expert Says”, Riverside Post-Enterprise, January 26 2012.
- “Federal Indictments in Riverside/LA Prostitution Ring”, ABC/KABC-TV 7, August 9 2012.
- “Riverside: Underage Girls Rescued in Sex Trafficking Sting”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 29 2013.
- “Moreno Valley Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Prostituting 14-Year-Old Girl”, Southwest Riverside News Network, March 12 2013.
- “Man Charged with 61 Felonies in FB Prostitution Pandering Case,” ABC/KESQ-TV 3, November 19 2015.
- “Valley Children Lead to Sex Trafficking Arrest,” Palm Springs Desert Sun, November 19 2015.
- https://www.yahoo.com/news/column-she-killed-man-trafficked (2022)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Region:
- “The Riverside Prostitute Killer”, Crime Library, TruTV.com.
- William Suff, Wikipedia.
- “Serial Killer Brings Urban Realities to Lake Elsinore”, Los Angeles Times, September 30 1991.
- “Killer in Southern California Preys on Prostitute, Addicts”, Albany Herald, October 31 1991.
- “Suspect Reportedly in Jail in Murders of Prostitutes”, Lodi News-Sentinel, January 14 1992.
- “Nice-Guy Neighbor: Could He Really Be a Serial Killer?”, Los Angeles Times, February 17 1992.
- “A Trail of Death: 3 Years After Arrest, Man to Go on Trial in 13 Slayings”, Los Angeles Times, March 26 1995.
- “Californian Is Guilty in Killing of 12 Prostitutes”, New York Times, July 20 1995.
- “Serial Killer Sentenced to Death”, Los Angeles Times, October 27 1995.
- https://www.yahoo.com/news/column-she-killed-man-trafficked (2022)
Background on Prostitution in the Region:
- https://www.modbee.com/news/local/article3094817.html (2007)
- “Internet Replacing Streetwalking for Inland Prostitution”, Riverside Press-Enterprise, January 1 2008.
- “RivCo Supes to Discuss Ways to Thwart Prostitution at Board Meeting”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 28 2013.
- “UPDATE: Supervisor Stone Proposes to Cut Prostitution and Pimping with Tighter Controls on Hotels/Motels”, Temecula Patch, January 29 2013.
- “‘Hospitality Ordinance’ in the Works to Combat Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in RivCo”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 29 2013.
- “Moreno Valley: School Official Accused of Running Prostitution Ring in Court Today”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 30 2013.
- “Sex-for-Sale Posts Add to Prostitution Problem in Southern California”, NBC/KNBC-TV 4, March 29 2013.
- https://www.northlawgroup.com/blog/2019/april/what-is-agreeing-to-prostitution-temecula-murrie/ (2019)
- https://patch.com/california/murrieta/temecula-prostitution-sting-nabs-ex-chief-deputy-sheriff-again (2020)
- https://patch.com/california/murrieta/murrieta-residents-arrested-prostitution-sting (2020)
Comments are closed.