District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announces results from the 5th annual “Operation: Hot Spots,” a coordinated countywide sting operation aimed at reducing the demand side of human trafficking by targeting sex buyers and sex exploiters.
Community-based organizations from the Sacramento Together Against Human Trafficking coalition voiced the need to crack down on sex buyers who fund and sustain the sex trafficking trade. In response, DA Anne Marie Schubert led the effort to organize this countywide operation, with a commitment from local law enforcement agencies to conduct operations throughout the year to reduce sex trafficking.
The District Attorney’s Office created training videos for law enforcement agencies featuring experts on human trafficking victims (adults and juveniles), suspect tactics/manipulations, conducting trafficking investigations, and insights on evidence collection for prosecutions. Education was also provided on our community resources and the services available to victims of human trafficking. Victim advocates are involved in the sting operations to assist with intervention and service referrals for individuals victimized by human traffickers.
In October 2021, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department, Folsom Police Department, Parole, Probation, District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol and FBI worked collaboratively to conducted street and hotel operations targeting sex buyers. The operation included law enforcement postings of fake decoy prostitution ads.
The results were:
261 sex buyer responses to fake decoy ads
22 citations of sex buyers for soliciting for prostitution – court dates are in January 2022
1 charged with human trafficking of a minor
1 charged with pandering
2 opened investigations into pimping and pandering
2 arrests for carrying a loaded firearm registered to another
Those convicted of soliciting another for the purpose of buying sex or agreeing to engage in an act of buying a person to engage in an act of prostitution, face a maximum penalty of 180 days in county jail, will be subject to search and seizure, and may be ordered to stay away from the involved locations or known “stroll” areas.
“Human traffickers and sex buyers have remained a significant public safety threat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DA Anne Marie Schubert. “We are committed to continuing sting operations through the Sacramento Together coalition to target sex traffickers and buyers as well as maximize our efforts to protect and serve victims of sexual exploitation.”
ABOUT SACRAMENTO TOGETHER
Sacramento Together is a coalition of more than 30 community-based organizations, law enforcement, state and local public agencies, meeting regularly and working together to combat human trafficking and exploitation in our community.
The coalition works to combat human trafficking and exploitation by working together to treat, educate and remove children and young adults from life threatening situations. Working collaboratively, the coalition coordinates and maximizes community response efforts as well as all of our regional assets to better serve victims of sexual and labor exploitation. The collaboration also increases public awareness about human trafficking. For more information, visit http://sacramentotogether.org/.