District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announces results from the 6th annual “Operation: Hot Spots,” a coordinated countywide sting operation aimed at reducing 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.
In December 2022, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department, Rancho Cordova Police Department, Sacramento County Probation Department, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and FBI worked collaboratively to conduct sting operations. Victim advocates are involved in the operations to assist with intervention and service referrals for individuals victimized by human traffickers.
The District Attorney’s Office held a training for law enforcement prior to the operation to educate officers in legal and investigative aspects of human trafficking. Experts presented current topics related to human trafficking awareness, suspect tactics, victimology and evidence collection for successful prosecution. Education was also provided on our community resources and the services available to victims of human trafficking.
This year’s operation focused on identifying and investigating individuals involved in sex trafficking, as well as contacting sex workers to refer them to services offered by CASH(Community Against Sexual Harm). The operation included law enforcement postings of fake decoy prostitution ads. The results were:
65+ sex buyer responses to fake decoy ads
6 victims referred to CASH for services
1 suspect charged with soliciting for prostitution
2 suspects charged with pandering
3 investigations opened into pandering
Those convicted of pandering by attempting to influence someone to become (or to remain) a sex worker in an undercover sting operation, face a penalty of 3, 4 or 6 years in state prison. 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.
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/.
CASH (Community Against Sexual Harm) is a community-based organization. CASH’s mission is to assist women who have been commercially sexually exploited through survivor-led peer support and harm reduction services, while providing education about the harm inflicted on women and the community. https://cashsacramento.org/