Westley is a census-designated place in Stanislaus County, located in the Central Valley area of California. The population is roughly 1,000, and it is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution has been a serious problem in the area for decades, with recent activities concentrated in the cities of Modesto and Turlock, but also in smaller towns such as Westley, Salida, and unincorporated areas. 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 Stanislaus County, Operation Reclaim & Rebuild for 2019 was conducted in late January and resulted in the arrests of 33 individuals over a three-day period. The operation was conducted at motels in Modesto, Westley, and Turlock. Law enforcement officers contacted various websites commonly used for the purposes of prostitution and set up meetings. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were disclosed in news releases. Agencies participating in the operation were: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Turlock Police Department, Patterson Police Services, Riverbank Police Services, Waterford Police Services, Stanislaus Probation Department, Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office and Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus.
- Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department
- Turlock Police Department
- Patterson Police Services
- Riverbank Police Services
- Waterford Police Services
- Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- https://www.turlockjournal.com/news/crime/human-trafficking-sting-nets-33-arrests/ (2019)
- https://www.modbee.com/news/local/crime/article225240040.html (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)