An undercover sting in which police posed as prostitutes at a Redlands hotel to bust “Johns” who solicited sex for money on Wednesday netted 13 suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 63, officials said.
The sting took place around 10 a.m. in the 1000 block of Colton Avenue, near the 10 Freeway, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force investigators conducted what they called an “in-call hotel ‘John’ operation,” the department said in a written statement.
“During the operation, undercover officers were deployed at a local hotel to pose as prostitutes through online advertisements,” according to the statement. Online ads are a primary tool for those involved in the human trafficking of underage victims, officials added.
“…The officers were contacted and solicited for acts of prostitution by multiple male suspects. Upon their arrival at the location, the suspects were taken into custody without incident and interviewed,” the statement said.
Thirteen suspects were ultimately arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution and released from custody with citations due to the state’s current zero-bail policy for misdemeanor and many felony arrests, sheriff’s officials said. The juvenile suspect was released to the custody of his parents.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, the Redlands Police Department, the Ontario Police Department, California State Parole, the U.S. Office of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.