Martinez, 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

Martinez is a city of approximately 37,000 residents and is the county seat of Contra Costa County, California. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Sex trafficking, including the sex trafficking of minors, has occurred in the city and surrounding areas. At least one web-based reverse sting has occurred in the city.

In March 2023, a former Deer Valley High School employee in Antioch faced felony charges for allegedly arranging to meet minors for transactional sexual acts, and authorities asked for the public’s help in tracking down other potential victims. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said the former teacher faced multiple felonies following his March 16 arrest in a sting operation. The investigation began in 2022, just days after he started a job as a deputy campus counselor at the school. A parent of a student reported to school officials that the man sent the student inappropriate text messages about marijuana use at school, as well as sexually suggestive messages. In a statement, the superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District said the suspect had worked a total of seven days at the school when the report was made. The county’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) took up the case to see if the suspect would sell marijuana to a minor and arrange for sex. Investigators posed as a 13-year-old girl on a chat app and the man allegedly offered to sell the fictional teen marijuana as the chats became more sexual in nature. On March 16, the suspect arranged to meet the teen for sexual abuse at a park in the city of Martinez, and when he arrived he was arrested by members of the ICAC task force and then incarcerated at the Martinez detention facility. He was charged on March 21 with seven felonies, including contacting a minor for a sex offense, showing a minor pornography, meeting a minor for lewd purposes, and attempting to supply marijuana to a minor to sell. The ICAC Senior Inspector said the man may have been in contact with other victims and urged anyone with information about the case to email him. A preliminary hearing was scheduled, and the Contra Costa Superior Court website showed that the man was held on $405,000 bail.

Key Partners

  • Contra Costa County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC)
  • Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office
  • Antioch Unified School District
  • Deer Valley High School
State California
Type City
Population 36819
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