Twelve men and one juvenile male were arrested on a charge of solicitation for prostitution on May 20, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 63 years old, were all residents of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
At about 10 a.m., the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force, assisted by Sheriff's MET investigators, conducted an in-call hotel "John" operation in the 1000 block of Colton Avenue in Redlands. The operation was part of an ongoing effort through heavy presence and enforcement to suppress human trafficking/prostitution throughout the county by targeting purchasers ("Johns").
During the operation, undercover officers were deployed at a local hotel to pose as prostitutes through on-line advertisements. On-line advertisements are more often used as a means for the commercialized trafficking of underaged victims in the sex trade, the Sheriff's Department said.
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.
In compliance with the statewide Emergency Bail Schedule, bail for most misdemeanor and felony offenses must be set at $0. Because of this criterion, all 13 suspects were issued citations for solicitation for prostitution and released from custody. This included the juvenile, who was released into the custody of his parents.