Folsom, CA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension
Folsom is a city of approximately 75,000 residents near Sacramento, California.  Among the problems associated with prostitution locally was a case of a sex buyer being given a fatal dose of illicit drugs by a prostituted woman.  An array of other negative impacts of commercial sex have led to numerous complaints to police, which in turn have generated efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation.  Community organizations have also emerged to address the issue; for example, “Sacramento Together Against Human Trafficking” is a coalition of law enforcement, state and local public agencies and community based organizations meeting regularly and working together to combat human trafficking and exploitation locally.
To combat the consumer-level demand that drives commercial sex markets, the city has conducted reverse stings, and the identities of arrestees were released to the public. For example, in August 2017 a countywide operation called Operation Hot Spots was conducted that focused on arresting sex buyers.  Coordinated by the Sacramento District Attorney’s office,  the operation resulted in 39 total arrests, two of which took place in the City of Folsom. The city participated in the countywide operation by running a hotel sting operation targeting people who were using the internet to arrange prostitution. During the operation at an undisclosed hotel, Folsom Police made two arrests during the one-day operation.  Both men were arrested for separate violations of Penal code 647(c), soliciting prostitution. Those convicted of soliciting face a maximum penalty of 180 days in county jail, and may be ordered to stay away from locations known to have high levels of commercial sex activity. In addition to the two arrests in Folsom, additional arrests were made by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in unincorporated areas of the county, and by the municipal police departments of the cities of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, and Citrus Heights.  Victim advocates were involved in the sting operations to assist with services if necessary.

In November, 2020, the Folsom Police Department announced making 13 local arrests for prostitution and human trafficking during an operation that took place during a single 10-hour period. A local hotel assisted the Police Department in the operation, arranging a bank of rooms to set up the operation. Detectives posted ads to various websites specifically used by those seeking sex services. In the 10-hour period, the Folsom Police Department received 200 responses to advertisements. They exchanged more than 1,000 text messages with potential customers and providers. Thirteen of those respondents were arrested as they followed through with arrival at the hotel.  Those who are convicted of prostitution charges face a maximum penalty of 180 days in county jail, will be subject to search and seizure, and might be ordered to stay away from the involved locations or known “stroll” areas.



Key Partners

  • City of Folsom Police Department
  • Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
  • Sacramento Together Against Human Trafficking
State California
Type City
Population 76375
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