Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies teamed up with deputies from the Vice Unit of Major Crimes Bureau in a 12-hour “john sting” in Castaic on Friday.
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The operation resulted in three arrests, Sheriff’s Station officials said.
Tony Wayne Alvarez and Ricardo Jimenez Meza, both of Bakersfield, whose occupations were listed as oil riggers, were booked at 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, according to Sheriff’s Department arrest records.
Leonid M Kinchak, a truck driver from Agawam, Mass., was arrested two hours later for the same charge, soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor.
The operation resulted from residents’ reports of illegal activities that affect the quality of life for local residents, according to a Sheriff’s Station statement.
Friday’s operation utilized female deputies in an undercover capacity to pose as prostitutes, and male deputies in an undercover capacity posing as “johns,” or men soliciting prostitutes.
The mission was to arrest and identify suspects for various prostitution violations. Another aspect of the mission was an attempt to identify any victims of human trafficking who have been forced into prostitution.
The locations also were chosen due to the area’s close proximity of the Interstate 5 freeway, which is an artery of travel for both legal and illegal activities, such as narcotics and human trafficking and smuggling throughout the state, according to officials.
Sometimes the crimes are committed by traveling through the area, and other times, by persons who are attracted by the crime potential of the major trucking operations and the transitory nature of trucking, sheriff’s officials said.
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Source: Santa Clarita News