Multi-County Operation Leads to Dozens Arrested in ‘John’ Stings

SACRAMENTO -- Prostitution and human trafficking are huge problems across the country, including here in California.

Julie Bornhoeft with WEAVE Inc. works with sex trafficking survivors daily.

"Not only the person trafficking someone else, it’s the individuals paying to have sex with someone," Bornhoeft told FOX40.

That's exactly what the Sacramento County District Attorney's office and several agencies say they’re cracking down on. They've made 16 arrests, including six for prostitution, in the county.

"We’ve partnered with other agencies with this operation to work together and work collaboratively to address the prostitution and human trafficking problem we have here in Sacramento County," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Shaun Hampton.

They say this specific effort, called "Operation: Hot Spots," targets sex buyers. Officials hope to reduce the demand for human trafficking.

"There's also a lot of other things that come with prostitution and human trafficking," Hampton said. "You'll have, typically, a lot of narcotics activity."

They aren't the only agency cracking down. Just last week San Joaquin County deputies along with Manteca police arrested 19 people for prostitution and human trafficking in Lodi in a separate crackdown.

"It may be started as a prostitution sting. You are going to find people that are being forced," Bornhoeft said.

She says to get to the root of the sex trafficking problem it's necessary to make arrests.

"We’re hoping this makes a significant impact on folks that may look to do this again," Hampton said.

Those arrested face charges of soliciting prostitution and can face a maximum of 180 days in jail if convicted.