Huntington Beach, 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

Huntington Beach is a seaside suburb of Los Angeles, with a population of about 200,000. Indoor prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as a key concerns in the city for decades. In the late 1980s, for example, three adult men were arrested and charged with attempting to recruit minor girls to be sexually exploited in a downtown Huntington Beach brothel; one of the offenders was ultimately sentenced to eight years in prison. In mid-2012, media outlets reported that Huntington Beach had experienced a 500 percent increase in the number of massage parlors in the city since the state started to oversee the operations.  As of March 2013, the city reportedly had more than 60 massage parlors, some of which were suspected to be fronts for prostitution according to the Huntington Beach Police Department. By 2015, the number was reportedly 74 massage businesses.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. In 2003, the Los Angeles Police Department Organized Crime and Vice Division (OCVD) executed search warrants in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties resulting from a one-year investigation into an organized prostitution ring that was operating in Southern California.  The investigation began in April 2002 after the Huntington Beach Police Department discovered an in-call prostitution service that was operating out of residential apartments in Huntington Beach. During the service of a subsequent search warrant, Huntington Beach Police Department detectives “arrested one female for prostitution and 13 male customers for soliciting [an] undercover female Huntington Beach Police detectives at a medical office run by the prostitution organization.” The arrestees’ identities were not disclosed in news reports.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Brothel Raids Resulting in Sex Buyer Arrests:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 196652
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