Palm Springs, 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

Palm Springs, located in California, has a population of roughly 45,000.  Prostitution is a documented problem in the city, and includes the homicide of at least one prostituted woman, another murder of a prostituted woman by a convicted serial killer,  and the presence of large-scale prostitution rings.  The serial killer who targeted prostitutes was Andrew Urdiales, who killed one prostituted woman in Palm Springs (as well as another woman with no known connection to prostitution), and others in San Diego and Cathedral City, CA.

The city was the focus of the investigation of a large, multi-state prostitution ring covering several states, that “employed” 240 women.   A man who ran the prostitution ring based in Palm Springs was sentenced to nine years in prison for one count each of conspiracy and pimping in connection with his ownership of Elite escort service which, provided sex for money throughout California, Arizona and Oregon from 2002 to 2006. After the trial, he pleaded guilty to 151 money laundering counts, and later faced trial on six tax-related charges.  Elite charged $250 for a girl or woman to show up, then charged anywhere from $150 to $4,000 for an array of sex acts, according to court papers. The pimps retained 100 percent of the “show” fees and a third of earnings from the hourlong sexual encounters, and the women were expected to tip their drivers and the appointment secretaries, according to the prosecution.

To combat demand driving the local commercial sex market, Palm Springs police have conducted at least one reverse sting, and have released the names of individuals arrested for solicitation since at least 2005. That year, a man was arrested and charged with attempting to solicit several minor boys for acts of prostitution at a local grocery store. His identity was publicized in press.

Key Partners

  • Palm Springs Police Department

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

  • “In Brief; Palm Springs; Man, 73, Arrested in Sexual Solicitation,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, June 1 2005.

Background on Sex Trafficking in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 45419
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