Vista is a city of approximately 94,000 residents, located near Oceanside and Escondido in San Diego County, California. Prostitution and commercial sex trafficking are persistent and visible problems in the area, with activities concentrated in and around the city’s massage parlors. In response, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has conducted at least three reverse stings, as part of operations targeting suspected trafficking operations as a whole. In their efforts, sheriff’s deputies frequently collaborate with the North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force. All johns arrested in SDCSO operations have had their names and other identifying information released to the local media. For example, in February 2014 six men ranging in age from 21 to 55 were jailed at the Vista Detention Facility Tuesday for allegedly attempting to buy sex from a decoy during a reverse sting. All six men were arrested on suspicion of solicitation during the operation conducted by the North County Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force operation.
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
- North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force
- Reverse Stings:
- Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Vista Named in ‘Sex Slave’ Report”, North County Times, January 28 2004.
- “Video Debuts About Human Trafficking”, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 8 2005.
- “City Council Tightens Permits, Zoning Rules for Massage Parlors, Spas”, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 19 2009.
- “22 Women Arrested on Suspicion of Prostitution”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 4 2009.
- “Arrests May Be Linked to Human Trafficking”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 7 2009.
- “Sex-Trade Arrests Are City’s Latest Black Eye”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 11 2009.
- “Trafficking in People: Modern-Day Slavery Is ‘Epidemic’ in County”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 14 2009.
- “Human Trafficking a Growing Concern in County”, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 11 2009.
- “Arrests Spotlight Problem of Human Trafficking”, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 18 2009.
- “SD County Prostitute Smuggler Gets 24 Years”, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 27 2010.
- “Zen Center Raises Awareness of Local Human Trafficking”, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 25 2011.
- “Smuggler Who Forced Women into Prostitution Sentenced to 21 Years”, PBS/KPBS-TV 30, October 22 2013.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Vista Puts Squeeze on Illegal Day Spas”, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 11 2010.
- “Three Cited in Vista Massage Parlor Sting”, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 14 2011.
- “Arrests Made During Prostitution Raid”, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 1 2012.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 3, Warrent Sweep Gets 32”, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 13 2012.