Goleta, CA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Goleta is a city of about 30,000 residents, located in southern Santa Barbara County, California. Prostitution is a well-documented problem in the city, particularly indoors in storefronts (such as massage parlors) that serve as brothels.  In one brothel investigation in 2013, an assault rifle was found in a massage parlor in which women were selling sex. To reduce demand, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBCSO) has conducted web-based reverse stings in the community. Men arrested for attempting to buy sex had their names, photos, and other identifying information reported in the news and on the SBCSO website. For example, in September 2018, the SBCSO made 17 arrests during a two-day prostitution sting in Goleta. Investigators placed an ad on several websites known for online prostitution-related advertisements.  The ad announced the availability of a woman willing to exchange sex for money. An undercover detective negotiated with those who responded to the ad and provided them with the location of a hotel meeting place. Those who arrived at the location were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office
State California
Type City
Population 55306
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