PALM DESERT — Nine people — five men and four women — were arrested Thursday, Dec. 12 on misdemeanor prostitution charges.
The arrests were the result of a partnership between members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and personnel from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station. The team conducted a sex trafficking demand reduction operation in the city of Palm Desert.
At a popular resort hotel in the 74-800 block of Country Club Drive, law enforcement officers operating in an undercover capacity placed decoy advertisements on popular classified advertisement websites. These websites are commonly used for the solicitation of prostitution online. These same task force members then responded to prospective customers replying to these prostitution advertisements. After brokering an agreement for paid sex acts, these “Johns” were then arrested upon their arrival at the hotel.
Concurrently, other task force officers negotiated agreed upon acts of prostitution based on other escort advertisements that were posted in the area. In these instances, females who responded to the undercover officers were directed to the resort, whereupon they too were arrested.
- Andrea Hill, 33, a resident of Cathedral City.
- Ajdin Bajramovic, 21, a resident of Bermuda Dunes.
- Somara Thomas, 23, a resident of Victorville.
- Luis Hernandez, 34, a resident of Palm Desert.
- Abraham Trujillo, 31, a resident of Palm Desert.
- Amy Gunning, 54, a resident of Palm Springs.
- Jeremy Villegas, 38, a resident of Pearblossom.
- Mariah Romero, 25, a resident of Desert Hot Springs.
- Jacky Abichat, 45, a resident of Culver City
All subjects arrested were booked and released from the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. The females arrested through these efforts were provided with access to resources that can assist them in escaping from a life of sex trafficking
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force seeks 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. RCAHT will also proactively work to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
The RCAHT Task Force extends its sincere appreciation to the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station for their support in conducting this joint operation. Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Sergeant John Sawyer of the RCAHT Task Force at (951) 955-1700, or via email at email@example.com.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2010 to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion. These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCAHT Task Force is a multidisciplinary task force which combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement.
The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation SafeHouse and Million Kids. The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with part-time participation of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.
- Arrested 1: RSO
- Arrested 3: RSO
- Arrested 2: RSO
- prostitution: Image by RJA1988 from Pixabay