Gilroy, 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

Gilroy is a city located in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. It’s population is about 58,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Santa Clara 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 problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking. For example, in J investigation by the Gilroy Police Department revealed a child sex trafficking conspiracy that exploited a 13-year-old Gilroy girl at a motel on Monterey Road. A sweep of the motel resulted in the arrests of five suspects who were charged with felony human trafficking and conspiracy charges. One suspect was allegedly using the young girl – who was reported as a runaway by her mother – for prostitution (i.e., child sex trafficking), and was charged with committing lewd acts with a child, oral copulation with a minor, enticing a minor for sex, pimping, pandering and other charges. Four other suspects were present during the GPD’s sweep of two motel rooms of the motel, and all “had knowledge of the illicit activity” according to police.  Based on interviews with the suspects, police said the group had been operating in hotels in Seaside, Salinas, and Gilroy. Police were originally tipped off by the 13-year-old girl’s mother who reported the runaway juvenile to local to authorities.

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. The GPD’s Anti-Crime Team conducted a sting operation in March 2013 to combat online-based prostitution rings, which resulted in the arrests of six suspects. Local authorities posed as sexually exploited persons on two websites known by officials as facilitating illicit sexual activities – sometimes involving children – and set up a prostitution sting in South Gilroy.

Key Partners

  • Gilroy Police Department
State California
Type City
Population 58101
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