Placer County, 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

Placer County is located just east of Sacramento, California and has a population of about 416,000 residents.  The county is included within the greater Sacramento metropolitan area, and contains several substantial cities, including Roseville and Auburn. The cities and unincorporated areas within the county (and the larger Sacramento region) have had substantial documented sex trafficking and prostitution activity.

To address both prostitution and sex trafficking, the Placer County Sheriffs office has collaborated with local, state, and federal agencies to conduct reverse stings, and comprehensive operations that have targeted commercial sex buyers, providers, and traffickers.  For example, in December 2018, Auburn Police reported a human trafficking investigation inside city limits resulted in the arrest of eight women on suspicion of prostitution, a man and woman arrested for pimping, and two men arrested on suspicion of soliciting for prostitution. The arrests took place during a two-day operation led by Auburn Police, and included the Placer County Sheriff’s Office special investigations unit, county probation and the California Alcoholic Beverage Control office.  A total of 17 people were contacted during the two-day operation, according to Auburn Police. During one of the operations, a woman was arrested and charged with child endangerment for bringing a small child with her during the course of participating in prostitution.

In February, 2018 a three-city, multi-agency task force operation designed to combat human trafficking resulted in the local arrest of three men, two for pimping and pandering and one for solicitation. The three-day operation on human trafficking, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, was conducted throughout California, including Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville, and resulted in 510 arrests statewide, including 178 males arrested for solicitation. In Auburn, one man was arrested for solicitation. A detective of the Auburn Police Department and the Placer County Special Investigations Unit helped organize Operation Reclaim and Rebuild’s local efforts, and said that arrests of sex buyers occur regularly:

“We focus on underage victims and work on the supply and demand theory. We try to save and rescue the children, arrest pimps and move forward on charges and, on the demand side, work to reverse John stings. We need to stay on top of and work both sides, supply and demand.  If there is no demand, there wouldn’t be a problem.””

In February, 2020 the results from the statewide “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” were announced.  The week-long operation was led by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and 70 participating federal, state and local law enforcement agencies (including the Placer County Sheriff’s Office) and task forces from across California.  In addition to rescuing and serving victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking and arresting then prosecuting their captors, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild also seeks to disrupt the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers. Investigators focused enforcement operations wherever the trafficking of human beings took place and included street-level and internet-based operations. The operation deployed specially trained cyber detectives who posed as vulnerable teenagers and interacted with suspects on social media, traffickers and customers who sought to exploit and sexually abuse children. Operation Reclaim and Rebuild resulted in 266 male sex buyers arrested for the charge of Solicitation, as well as the recovery of 76 adult and 11 minor victims and the arrest of 27 suspected traffickers. Tin the press release announcing these results, the head of the Task Force said, “To the Johns:  Purchasing commercial sex is illegal and buying sex adds to the exploitation of those involved.”  Downloadable Material: Talking Points and Slides




Key Partners

  • Placer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Placer County Special Investigations Unit
  • Auburn Police Department
  • California Alcoholic Beverage Control

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

State California
Type County
Population 416001
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