On Thursday, February 11, 2021, members of the Norco Station Special Enforcement Team (SET), in partnership with personnel from the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) conducted a comprehensive “John” prostitution sting in an effort to reduce the demand for sex trafficking in the city of Norco.
Law enforcement personnel, operating in an undercover capacity, placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of online prostitution. The undercover operators communicated with prospective customers replying to their posted prostitution (decoy) advertisements. After brokering an agreement for paid sexual acts, these “Johns,” were then arrested upon their arrival to the meeting location.
As a result of this enforcement effort, a total of 17 men were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges. Those arrested were identified as follows:
- Michael Aguirre, 50, a resident of Fontana
- Derek Cortes, 30, a resident of Riverside
- Christopher Damron, 46, a resident of Oxnard
- Sergio Esteban, 26, a resident of Moreno Valley
- Gerardo Garcia, 37, a resident of Riverside
- Brandon Henderson, 30, a resident of Corona
- Douglas Herrera, 45, a resident of Corona
- Moises Mendoza, 37, a resident of Norco
- Jesus Ortiz, 40, a resident of Norco
- Steven Owen, 68, a resident of Diamond Bar
- Peter Pacheco, 46, a resident of Fontana
- Jin Park, 20, a resident of Eastvale
- Manuel Perez, 21, a resident of Corona
- Dustin Reeves, 52, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga
- Ignacio Rivera, 26, a resident of San Bernardino
- Robert Sanchez, 38, a resident of Corona
- Joseph Sierra, 21, a resident of Perris
All subjects arrested were booked and released from the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Prostitution is not a victimless crime. Ninety-five percent of sex trafficking victims are women or children. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that one in six endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. 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. Norco Station SET and the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force seek to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue and apprehend those who seek to exploit those whom are most vulnerable. Norco Station SET and RCAHT will also proactively work to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Deputy R. Whittenburg of the Norco Station at (951) 951-2600.
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.
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