Turlock, 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

Turlock is a city of about 73,000 residents, located in Stanislaus County in the Interstate 5 corridor in the Central Valley area of California. Prostitution has been a formidable problem in the area for decades, with recent activities concentrated in the cities of Modesto, Turlock, and surrounding towns and unincorporated areas. Child sex trafficking is also well documented within Turlock and other areas of the county. Commercial sex sales are said to reach a pinnacle during the region’s harvest season.

To address the issue, the the Turlock Police Department, often in collaboration with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, has incorporated the use of several demand-driven tactics to identify and apprehend sex buyers. Reverse Sting operations typically utilize undercover female officers who pose as decoys. In May 2018, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies made 11 arrests in Turlock in a planned operation targeting online human trafficking, including arresting sex buyers. The arrests were made over several hours from Friday evening to about 3 a.m. Saturday at a motel on Walnut Road in Turlock. Sheriff’s investigators in Patterson had learned of a social media platform being used for human trafficking. They used the site to set up meetings at the motel and made a series of arrests there over the course of the night. The 11 men and women were arrested on charges of prostitution and solicitation, pimping, and a variety of warrants and drug charges. The operation was led by deputies in Patterson with assists from deputies in Waterford as well as officers from the Turlock Police Department. In January 2019, a web-based sting operation produced 33 arrests.

In Stanislaus County, “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild” for 2021 was conducted on January 28 and January 29. The Turlock Police Department took part in the operation Rebuild and Reclaim that resulted in 13 of the 64 arrestees for human trafficking and other offenses on the county. One arrest was of a man who solicited an undercover officer who was posing as an underage female for sexual acts. Other local agencies that participated were Patterson Police Services, Waterford Police Services, State Parole, Stanislaus County Probation, CSU Stanislaus Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Banos Police Department, Oakdale Police Department, Tracy Police Department, Stanislaus District Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Newman Police Department, Women’s Haven, and Stanislaus County Adult Detention Deputies. Over sixty members from these agencies and departments worked together to combat Human Trafficking within Stanislaus County.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 72682
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