Patterson, 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

Patterson is a city of about 22,000 residents in Stanislaus County, located off Interstate 5 in the Central Valley region of California. It is about 30 miles southeast of Tracy, and is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Stanislaus County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result 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, including child sex trafficking and distribution of child sexual abuse materials (i.e., child pornography).

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 January 2019, Patterson Police Services participated in a three-day, multi-agency human trafficking sting called “Operation Rebuild and Reclaim.” The operation was part of a statewide effort coordinated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and involved more than 90 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces across California, including the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Waterford Police Services, Riverbank Police Services, State Parole, Stanislaus County Probation, Turlock Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office. Statewide, the operation resulted in the recovery of 34 adult victims and 14 minor victims of human trafficking, the arrest of 156 male sex buyers, and the arrest of 36 traffickers and exploiters. Stanislaus County was responsible for 33 arrests for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, including the arrest of 13 male sex buyers. All arrestees had their identities released to the press.

In July 2020, Patterson Police Services, Waterford Police Services, and the Turlock Police Department conducted a joint human trafficking sting in Patterson and surrounding areas that resulted in the arrest of eight individuals on prostitution charges, including at least four male sex buyers. Their names and ages were released to the press. Two others were arrested on charges of annoy or molest, willful harm or injury to child, contribute to the delinquency of a minor, and PC send/sell/etc obscene matter depicting a minor.

A similar operation conducted in November 2020 by Patterson Police Services, the Turlock Police Department, State Parole, Stanislaus County Probation Office, Stanislaus County Adult Detention Division, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Waterford Police Services, and Riverbank Police Services resulted in 23 prostitution-related arrests, including at least 14 male sex buyers. Their identities were released to the press.

Key Partners

  • Patterson Police Services
  • Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office
  • Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department
  • Riverbank Police Services (Contract with SCSD)
  • Waterford Police Services (Contracted with SCSD)
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • McAuley Ford
  • California State Parole
  • Stanislaus County Probation Office
  • Turlock Police Department
  • Women’s Haven of Stanislaus County
  • Stanislaus County Adult Detention Division

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 22309
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