Milpitas, 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

Milpitas is a city of approximately 79,000 residents located near San Jose in Santa Clara County, California in Silicon Valley. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in June 2017, Milpitas officials confirmed that a massage parlor that was cited for prostitution earlier that year — located in a strip mall adjacent to other businesses including a nursing school — was effectively shut down. Milpitas Police, responding to anonymous tips to police that first began in August 2016 concerning alleged prostitution taking place at the business, conducted an undercover operation and cited four women for prostitution at the business.

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. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, reverse stings have been conducted. For example, in October 2016, the Milpitas Police Department collaborated with numerous partner agencies in the region to conduct operations in support of Operation Cross Country X, an international effort focused on ending child sex trafficking. The operation took place from October 11 to 15, 2016, and spanned six counties in the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, and Sonoma). In addition to recovering six juvenile trafficking victims and 14 pimps and traffickers, the operation resulted in the arrest or citation of 79 adult male sex buyers and “cyber patrol” contact with 63 adult men. Cyber patrols involve potential sex buyers being contacted by law enforcement and advised of the harm caused by engaging in prostitution. FBI San Francisco Division coordinated the California effort for Operation Cross Country X and the following 28 additional agencies participated as well: Alameda County DA’s Office, Probation, and Sheriff’s Office; Alameda Police Department; Belmont Police Department; Campbell Police Department; Central Marin Police Authority; Concord Police Department; Department of State; Hayward Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Marin County Sheriff’s Office; Milpitas Police Department; Morgan Hill Police Department; Oakland Police Department; Piedmont Police Department; Redwood City Police Department; San Francisco DA’s Office and Police Department; San Jose Police Department; San Mateo County Juvenile Probation; San Mateo Police Department; San Rafael Police Department; Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and Juvenile Probation; Santa Rosa County DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Office; Santa Rosa Police Department

In January 2020, Santa Clara County law enforcement officers participated in the statewide “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild,” the sixth year the sheriff’s office and five South Bay agencies participated in the state-wide effort to aggressively target suspects and victims of human trafficking. During the last week in January, undercover agents targeted sex traffickers online, setting up meetings in a Milpitas hotel. Detectives responded to those ads and arranged for commercial sex, and when individuals arrived they were arrested. Sixteen male sex buyers were arrested for soliciting prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Milpitas Police Department
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Taskforce
  • FBI
  • Homeland Security Investigations
State California
Type City
Population 79066
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