Loma Linda, 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

Loma Linda, California is a city within San Bernardino County that is home to approximately 25,000 individuals. It is bordered by the city of San Bernardino to the north and by Redlands to the east. Over the course of its history, Loma Linda has maintained a high level of prostitution activity.  San Bernardino County was famous for legalized prostitution that ended in 1938. However, it took until 1959 for the last major brothel to be shut down. Despite the county no longer having legal methods for soliciting sex, the practice has become common in the area, causing problems for citizens and law enforcement.

In August 2012, a Loma Linda native was arrested with three others in a prostitution related bust that took place at a truck stop in Ripon. According to reports, the police were called in to investigate two men who fit a description that they had, and discovered they were engaging in – and facilitating – prostitution. In that particular case, the names of those involved were released, although this is not always the case with prostitution arrests in the area.

In February 2020, a multi-organization task force targeted prostitution in California as part of a movement known as “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”.  That year marked the sixth annual completion of the event, and according to reports, arrest numbers were in the hundreds. Areas where prostitution are highly prevalent were those targeted most in the efforts arranged by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force; among these areas were Loma Linda and its neighboring cities. As an extension to simply arresting buyers, the operation also sought to rescue victims of sex trafficking in addition terminating the practice of their traffickers and pimps. This mission appeared to be successful, with at least 76 victims being identified; while 27 traffickers, and 266 customers were arrested.

The operations were done through a series of web-based and hotel oriented reverse sting operations. In the most common occurrence, law enforcement would post advertisements on various websites known for facilitating prostitution. This would lead to the organization of a meeting where buyers and pimps would inevitably be arrested. In concurrence with their seven-day event, police and other local agencies called for community engagement as well. With news of “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” being broadcast across the state of California, media outlets also drew attention to what citizens could do to help alleviate the problems caused by trafficking and prostitution. In most articles and social media posts, there was a section with information for those who wished to report concerns or leave tips in relation to trafficking in the greater San Bernardino area.

Key Partners

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office
  • Azusa Police Department
  • Corona Police Department
  • Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
  • Huntington Beach Police Department
  • San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office
  • Redlands Police Department
  • Ontario Police Department
  • California State Parole
  • Office of Homeland Security
  • Ripon Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
State California
Type City
Population 25072
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