Del Mar, 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

Del Mar is a beach town in San Diego County, California, located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Its population is just under 4,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented throughout the county, and in the Del Mar area, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies. 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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include reverse stings and the public disclosure of sex buyer identities. For example, in February, 2014, six men ranging in age from 21 to 55 were arrested and  jailed at the Vista Detention Facility today for allegedly attempting to hire prostituted persons in the North County, including Del Mar. All six men were arrested on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution during the North County Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force operation, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Mata. Details about the exact nature of the operation were withheld, but the arrested men were identified in news reports.

Employment loss is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred in the city.  For example, in February, 2023, a longtime Del Mar Union school board member resigned, hours after officials announced he had been arrested in Florida on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. The man was one of 213 people arrested during a seven-day operation — dubbed Operation Traffic Stop — that aimed to crack down on human trafficking in Polk County, FL. He was reportedly in the area to assist his parents, when he allegedly solicited sex for $200 dollars. The man had been elected to the Del Mar Union School District board in 2010 and was re-elected in November, 2022. While campaigning, the sex buyer told the Del Mar Times that he had been married for 23 years and that he had two children, and had lived in San Diego for two decades. Del Mar Union school district officials said they learned of the arrest on February 16, and they released a statement that afternoon saying that the man had resigned from his post, effective immediately.

Key Partners

  • Del Mar Union School District
  • San Diego County sheriff’s Office
  • North County Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Identity Disclosure, Employment Loss:

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 3922
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