|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Livermore is a city of about 87,000 residents in Alameda County, California. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area, located about 25 miles east of Oakland, and 6 miles east of Pleasanton. Prostitution and sex trafficking of minors has been documented in the city and surrounding area. For example, in 2005 there were reports of widespread internet-based prostitution and sex trafficking in and nearby towns, and in 2006 the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and local police arrested 13 people in an internet prostitution sting. In 2012 and 2013, police ran several operations to combat prostitution in massage parlors that advertised online: e.g., police in the Tri-Valley use information from a massage parlor rating website (rubmaps.com ) which listed local massage parlors along with menus of sexual services the site says are provided in addition to massages by some of the masseuses. Pleasanton had the highest number of parlors listed in the Tri-Valley with 12, followed by Dublin (9), San Ramon (8), and Danville and Livermore (3 each), and local police officials said they were aware of that site along with several other similar websites.
In response, police have used tactics that focus on combating demand. For example, in May, 2019, the Livermore Police Department participated in a reverse sting resulting in the arrest or 11 men at a local hotel in Pleasanton. To conduct the operation, “undercover officers used a fictitious profile to create an online advertisement designed to attract commercial sex purchasers seeking prostitution services,” police officials said in a statement. The operation lasted eight hours, during which time over 40 people responded to the advertisement, 10 of whom agreed to pay money for a sexual act and came to the hotel where officers were waiting. The 11 men were arrested for various crimes, including solicitation of prostitution, resisting arrest, pandering and meeting with a minor with the intention of engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior. Two were arrested on additional felony charges: the one who tried to become a “pimp,” and another who arrived believing the undercover officer was a 15-year-old girl. All of the men were booked at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. The operation was in response to complaints from hotels and their guests regarding rooms being rented by suspected prostituted persons, and seeing men come and go during all hours.
In May, 2019, the Livermore Police Department participated in a reverse sting operation at a local hotel. Undercover officers used fictitious online profile advertisements designed to attract commercial sex purchasers seeking prostitution services. During the seven-hour operation, over 50 phone numbers contacted undercover officers in response to the online advertisements. Seven men agreed to pay sex and traveled to the hotel, where undercover officers were waiting and arrested those offering to complete the transactions. Another male, who identified himself as a “pimp,” contacted an undercover officer and attempted to recruit the officer. He made an agreement to offer protection and other services in exchange for a portion of the proceeds, and was arrested on felony charges. The operation was carried out in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, including the Pleasanton Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit and Hayward Police Department. The multi-agency effort was organized following complaints from community members.
- Livermore Police Department
- Pleasanton Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit
- Hayward Police Department
- Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- https://www.pleasantonweekly.com/pleasanton-police-arrest-11-in-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/11-men-arrested-in-pleasanton-prostitution-sting/ (2018)
- https://patch.com/california/11-arrested-prostitution-sting-pleasanton (2018)
- https://nextdoor.com/police-department/prostitution-sting-yields-eleven-arrests (2018)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/eight-arrested-in-pleasanton-prostitution-sting/ (2019)
- https://www.independentnews.com/police-arrest-eight-in-prostitution-sting (2019)
- https://patch.com/california/sting-nets-8-arrests-pleasanton-police (2019)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Region:
- https://www.mv-voice.com/morgue/prostitution (2003)
- http://www.diablomag.com/June-2005/Prostitutioncom/ (2005)
- http://www.topix.com/internet-prostitution-sting-nets-13-in-east-bay (2006)
- https://patch.com/california/pleasanton/menu-of-prostitution-services-in-tri-valley-just-look-online (2012)
- https://www.csueastbay.edu/alumnus-RyanCantrell-book (2013)
- http://abc7news.com/news/dublin-police-arrest-2-on-suspicion-of-pimping-pandering/ (2016)
- https://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-suburban-sex-trafficking-ring-busted-police-say/ (2016)
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