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Fontana is a city of approximately 211,000 residents located in San Bernardino County, California. Like law enforcement agencies in neighboring Ontario and San Bernardino, the Fontana Police Department has identified areas of the city where street prostitution is visible and chronic. To address the issue, the FPD has conducted periodic street-level reverse stings since at least 2007. The operations in 2007 and 2009 together resulted in the arrest of 24 male sex buyers. The men’s names and ages were released to the local news media.
In April 2013, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced a new policy targeting sex buyers. Dubbed the “Stop-the-Johns Project,” the initiative documented and publicized the names and photos of all individuals arrested and convicted of solicitation in the county. All sex buyers arrested in Fontana and elsewhere within the county would have their identities posted on the District Attorney’s website.
In September 2018, eight suspected sex buyers were arrested during a prostitution sting in Fontana. Members of the Fontana Sheriff’s Station Criminal Investigations Division/Multiple Enforcement Team and investigators from the Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and Human Trafficking Division, conducted a day-long undercover operation using various online classified advertising sites. The suspects initiated and engaged in conversations with undercover officers acting as prostituted women in response to the posted ad. During these conversations with the undercover officers, the men solicited various sex acts in exchange for money. Once the verbal agreement was made, the sex buyers arrived at a pre-designated, undisclosed location in Fontana in order to engage and carry out illegal sex acts. All suspects were booked in to West Valley Detention Center, cited on solicitation of prostitution, and then released.
- Fontana Police Department
- San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “11 Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, August 22 2007.
- “Fontana Police Arrest 13 During Prostitution Sting”, San Bernardino Sun, May 4 2009.
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- The Stop-the-John Project’s Official Website
- “DA to Post Prostitution Solicitor Photos Online”, Victorville Daily Press, January 20 2013.
- “DA’s Stop-the-John Program to Shame Sex Solicitors”, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, April 2 2013.
- “Photos May Blunt Human Traffickers”, Inland News Today, April 2 2013.
- “SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: DA Revealing Convicted ‘Johns’ Names”, Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 2 2013.
- “VIDEO: San Bernardino DA to Crack Down on Prostitution”, Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 2 2013.
- “San Bernardino Puts Mugshots of Prostitution ‘Johns’ on Website”, ABC/KABC-TV 7, April 3 2013.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Man Faces 15 Years to Life in Prison for Sex Trafficking of 17-Year-Old Victim,” Fontana Herald News, October 7 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area: