Salida is a city of about 14,000 residents, located in the Central Valley area of California, in Stanislaus County. Prostitution has been a substantial problem in the area for decades, with recent activities concentrated in the cities of Modesto, Turlock, and surrounding towns, including Salida. Child sex trafficking is also well documented within the county. To address these issues, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department has incorporated the use of several demand-driven tactics to identify and apprehend sex buyers. In their efforts, the SCSD routinely conduct street-level reverse stings, at times collaborating with officers from local police departments. Operations typically utilize undercover female officers, who pose as decoys, and also conduct operations targeting online human trafficking.
In September,2019, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department arrested 12 people during a human trafficking sting at a Salida hotel. Deputies posted ads online posing both as men seeking sex and as women offering sex for hire. Five women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution but were also offered services through Havens Women’s Center. It was on site during the operation organized by Patterson Police Services deputies and done with assistance of other Sheriff’s Department deputies, state parole and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office. Four men were arrested on suspicion of solicitation, and their identities included in news releases. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department tries to conduct at least one of these stings a quarter and relies on the cooperation of the local motels to conduct them.
- Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department
- Patterson Police Services
- Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- https://www.modbee.com/news/local/crime/article235385677.html (2019)
- https://www.abc10.com/article/12-arrested-in-stanislaus-county-human-trafficking-sting (2019)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Nights on Ninth Street”, The Modesto Bee, January 6 2008.
- “Police Find Underage Prostitutes Online, Try to Lead Them From Life”, The Modesto Bee, May 29 2008.
- “Stanislaus Deputy: Suspected Prostitute Badly Beaten by Customer”, The Modesto Bee, January 22 2011.
- “Evidence of Sex Slavery in Stanislaus County Calls for Action”, The Modesto Bee, April 14 2012.
- “Stanislaus County’s Financial Picture is Looking Slightly Better”, The Modesto Bee, May 29 2012.
- http://www.turlockcitynews.com/news/item/735-turlock-massage-parlors-inspected-after-prostitution-tip (2013)
- http://www.kcra.com/article/ceres-pd-3-teens-arrested-after-prostitution-ring-sting (2017)
- http://www.modbee.com/news/Stockton man charged with trafficking 16-year-old Ceres girl (2017)
- http://www.modbee.com/news/local/Turlock massage parlor worker arrested suspicion prostitution (2017)