Palmdale, CA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Palmdale is a city of approximately 140,000 residents, located in north central Los Angeles County, California, near Lancaster. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in community. In October 2014, for example, an adult trafficker based in Palmdale was sentenced to 27 years in prison for forcing minors into prostitution in the greater Los Angeles County area. Among other charges, the trafficker pled no contest to sexually abusing one of the victims (a 14-year-old female), “branding” her with tattoos, and compelling her to commit acts of prostitution over a seven-year period. According to media reports, the “victim was able to escape earlier [in 2014] by jumping out of a moving vehicle [while he] brandished a handgun at her.”

Local law enforcement’s responses to prostitution in Palmdale are driven in part by complaints from residents, specifically around the city’s main boulevard. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers have conducted street-level reverse stings on a periodic basis since the early 2000s. During a reverse sting in 2001, for example, police arrested 12 men within a six-hour period. The names of the arrestees were not released to the public.

Key Partners

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Palmdale Police Department

Key Sources


State California
Type City
Population 140882
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