Wildomar, 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

Wildomar is a city of about 37,000 residents in Riverside County, California. It was incorporated on July 1, 2008, and through 2021 its population was rapidly growing. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as substantial problems in Wildomar and other communities (e.g., CoronaHemetLake ElsinoreMoreno ValleyMurrieta,  RiversideTemecula) and unincorporated ares of Riverside county.   The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside Police and federal FBI agents conducted a long-term joint investigation into human trafficking of minors and prostitution.  More than one serial killer have specifically targeted prostituted women and girls in the county, and there have been other assaults and homicides of people involved in commercial sex.

In February, 2020 it was announced that a large collaborative law enforcement effort occurred over a four day span in Riverside County to prevent sexual slavery and human trafficking.  The operation netted 72 arrests — including multiple arrests in Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and other nearby cities and unincorporated areas.  The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force led the operation — dubbed Operation Reclaim & Rebuild — that ran January 27-30. The task force targeted people who seek prostituted women online, but it was also part of an annual multi-agency statewide initiative that focuses on rescuing human trafficking victims, arresting their captors and disrupting the demand for victims, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported. The task force officers placed “decoy” advertisements on websites commonly used by people looking to purchase sex. When a prospective customer replied to an ad and a sex deal was struck, a meeting spot was offered. Once a customer showed up at the agreed upon location, he or she was arrested. Task force officers also targeted online escort advertisements. In those cases, officers would respond to escort ads and agree to sex acts. The escorts — all women in this instance — were then arrested when they showed up at an agreed upon meeting spot. Following booking, all 72 arrestees were released with their written promise to later appear in court. The names of all arrestees were included in news reports.  The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release:

“Prostitution is not a ‘victimless’ crime. Ninety-five percent of sex trafficking victims are women or children. Those victimized by commercial sexual exploitation frequently have long histories of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse or trauma in their backgrounds. Sex trafficking victims are often subjected not only to severe forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those that solicit them for prostitution.”

In January, 2023, a series of law enforcement operations throughout Riverside County targeting suspects seeking or engaged in illicit sexual services produced 31 arrests. The county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force joined other agencies statewide in “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild,” with the goal of suppressing the sex trade by targeting sex buyers, as well as identifying and supporting victims, and apprehending sex traffickers.  The effort in Riverside County occurred when identical sweeps were taking place in numerous other jurisdictions across California.  Operation Reclaim & Rebuild netted a total of 368 arrests and 131 rescues statewide. In Riverside County, arrests were made in Banning, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Perris, Riverside, San Jacinto, Temecula and Wildomar. About the operation, a Sergeant with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said,

“The operation targeted online prostitution and those whose demand for these unlawful activities fuels an illicit underground economy, both locally, as well as across the state. Often, individuals engaging in acts of prostitution are being forced to commit sexual acts against their will.”

Most of the individuals apprehended in the Riverside County operation were booked on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution, though one was additionally taken into custody for alleged pimping, and various services and resources were provided and offered to seven rescued victims. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in a press release by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.

Key Partners

  • Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 37189
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