Oceanside, 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

Oceanside is a city of approximately 176,000 residents, located near Carlsbad and Vista in San Diego County, California. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in other areas of San Diego County.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.

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 an effort to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, a multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction force consisting of several local law enforcement agencies and federal agencies in North County was created, that has included the use of demand reduction tactics in its activities.  Dubbed the North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force, the agency has collaborated with the Oceanside Police Department to conduct street-level and web-based reverse stings since 1985; officers currently conduct an average of 12 such stings per year.  The city has also required arrested men to adhere to SOAP orders, and neighborhood groups have mobilized against prostitution and sex trafficking.  Police have released sex buyers’ names and other identifying information to the local media, but as some refuse to public offenders’ names, the Oceanside PD has made the information available on its official website. While law enforcement and city officials have previously tested ordinances allowing for the seizure of vehicles used for solicitation, the practice has since been suspended.

Key Partners

  • Oceanside Police Department
  • North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force

Key Sources

National Assessment Survey

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure, Neighborhood Action:

  • “‘John’ May Find Help in Tapes”, San Diego Union, May 11 1985.
  • “Guilty Plea Set Aside by Judge; Navy Man Asked Action after Solicitation Case Tapes Found”, San Diego Union, May 15 1985.
  • “DA Drops Soliciting Prostitution Charges”, San Diego Union, May 22 1985.
  • “Navy Man Cleared of Soliciting-Prostitution Charge”, San Diego Evening Tribune, May 22 1985.
  • “5 Demand $9 Million for Arrests”, San Diego Union, June 15 1985.
  • “Guidelines Issued for Vice Decoys”, San Diego Union, June 25 1985.
  • “Oceanside Cops Cleared of Falsification”, San Diego Union, July 10 1985.
  • “DA Will Not File Charges against Oceanside Cop”, San Diego Evening Tribune, July 11 1985.
  • “Claims by 4 Men in Prostitution Probe Dismissed”, San Diego Union, July 25 1985.
  • “2 Cops Get Reprimands over Report”, San Diego Union, September 11 1985.
  • “Sailor Is Pursuing $5 Million Claim against Oceanside”, San Diego Union, October 26 1985.
  • “11 Soliciting Arrests”, San Diego Union, May 24 1988.
  • “4 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sweep”, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 29 2001.
  • “Ten Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, North County Times, December 3 2004.
  • “Cops Want to Curb City’s Sex Solicitors”, San Diego Union-Tribune, January 7 2005.
  • “Prostitution Sting Nets 21 in North County”, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 12 2012.
  • “Oceanside Police, FBI Make 11 Arrests in Prostitution Sweep”, Encinitas Coast News, July 2 2014.

Proposed Auto Seizure:

  • “Police in Oceanside Trying to Stop Sex Solicitors, May Impound Vehicles”, San Diego Union-Tribune, January 8 2005.
  • “Oceanside Considering Seizing Johns’ Vehicles”, North County Times, January 30 2005.
  • “Oceanside’s Quick-Fix Trick”, North County Times, March 2 2005.

Identity Disclosure:

  • “Oceanside May Publish Names of Prostitutes and Their Customers”, North County Times, October 12 2003.
  • “Paper Says No to Naming Prostitutes, Johns”, North County Times, October 14 2003.
  • “Police to Move Forward with Naming Prostitutes, Johns”, North County Times, October 15 2003.
  • “Oceanside Police List Names of Prostitutes on Web Site”, San Diego Union-Tribune, October 25 2003.
  • “Sex-Trade Arrests Are City’s Latest Black Eye”, San Diego Union-Tribune,  June 11 2009.

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Views Differ on Cop’s Links to Prostitute”, San Diego Union, July 3 1985.
  • “Trial Could Uncover Way Police Operate”, San Diego Union, July 6 1985.
  • “Tapes Played in Court Reveal Deal between Oceanside Cop, Prostitute”, San Diego Evening Tribune, July 9 1985.
  • “Cop Gave Her Drugs, Prostitute Testifies”, San Diego Evening Tribune, July 12 1985.
  • “Ex-Officer Sentenced to Jail in Drug Case”, San Diego Evening Tribune, September 17 1985.
  • “Open-Air Brothel for Oceanside Farmworkers under Fire”, San Diego Union, March 18 1989.
  • “Oceanside ‘Saturation’ Flushes Crime Five-Day Police Action Cleans Up the City’s Streets”, San Diego Union, September 3 1989.
  • “15 Hookers Pick the Wrong Men; In Oceanside, Vice Officers Make a Surprise Sweep”, San Diego Union, June 16 1991.
  • “Oceanside’s ‘Love Shack’ Brothel Leveled”, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 12 1991.
  • “Oceanside Starts Crackdown; Adopt-a-Hooker Program by Cops Cools Sex Business”, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 2 1992.
  • “Oceanside Police Set Up Plan for Sending Hookers to the Hoosegow”, San Diego Union-Tribune, October 23 1992.
  • “Oceanside Seeks Jail for Hookers”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 22 1995.
  • “Authorities Break Up Illegal Immigrant Prostitution Ring”, North County Times, December 3 2001.
  • “Oceanside Prostitute Allegedly Tries to Solicit Police”, North County Times, September 28 2006.
  • https://www.nbcsandiego.com/Six-Men-Including-a-Doctor-Arrested-During-Online-Prostitution-Operation (2019)
  • https://www.nbcsandiego.com/6-Men-Arrested-During-Online-Prostitution-Operation (2019)

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Transvestite on Hold to 911 When Shot”, San Diego Evening Tribune, December 20 1990.
  • “Marine on Trial in Fatal Shooting of Transvestite”, San Diego Evening Tribune, November 20 1991.
  • “Pendleton Marine Guilty in Transvestite’s Death”, San Diego Evening Tribune, December 5 1991.
State California
Type City
Population 175694
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