Hanford, 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

Hanford is a city in central California with a population of about 59,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Kings 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 crimes associated with the local commercial sex market are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.  For example, a woman who was arrested for human trafficking was sentenced to 13 years in prison for organizing a prostitution ring of 14- and 15-year-old girls. She was tried on charges of human trafficking of a minor, sending threatening emails to a family member of one of the victims and making terrorist threats in Kings County Superior Court.

Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their strategy for prevention and response.  In 2009, Hanford police used Craigslist to investigate and arrest prostituted women and pimps and in the process, cited two men for soliciting prostitution from a female undercover police officer.  In a similar operation in October 2016, police again arrested two sex buyers and publicized their identities.

In November, 2021, the Hanford Police Department announced that eight men were arrested as a result of a 2-day operation targeting human trafficking and sexual predators in the city. The HPD Detective Unit in conjunction with investigators of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office arrested the men after the suspects solicited sexual acts with a decoy posing as a juvenile. Police said the men believed the decoys were between 13 and 16-years-old. The suspects agreed to meet with the decoys at specific locations in Hanford to engage in sex. As the men arrived at the predesignated locations, they were met by undercover detectives and taken into custody. The identities of the sex buyers were included in news reports.

Key Partners

  • Hanford Police Department
  • Kings County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kings County Superior Court
  • Kings County Jail
State California
Type City
Population 58496
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