Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force conducted a human trafficking sting operation last week focusing on rescuing victims of human trafficking, identifying and arresting their traffickers, disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims, and connecting victims of human trafficking with victim resources.

During the operation, a total of 3 women engaged in the sales of sex acts were contacted and 4 sex buyers were arrested. The names of the arrestees are not available for release due to ongoing investigations.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2016 with a $1.34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant was renewed in 2020 with an additional $1.2 million in funding for three years. 

If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, please call the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip line at (805)681-4171 or provide an anonymous tip on our website.

Sheriff’s detectives coordinate closely with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program to ensure the needs of survivors are not overshadowed by the focus on the investigation and prosecution of the accused. Victim Advocates are available to ensure that survivors are kept informed and supported throughout the criminal justice process. Survivors have the option of contacting the Victim-Witness Assistance Program directly at 805-568-2400 or toll free at 855-840-3232.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind survivors that they can also find support services through our community partner, Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA). Services offered by STESA include a confidential 24-Hour hotline, legal and medical advocacy and accompaniment, and counseling. You can reach a STESA advocate at any time by calling (805) 564-3696.

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SBLIFE Nov 16, 2021 02:07 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

Really, arresting Johns paying for CONSENSUAL sex is stopping human trafficking? I wish they'd stop trying to make this sound like something bigger than it is. What happened to "identifying and arresting their traffickers" listed in the blurb, when has that happened? Every time there is one of these reports detailing these operations, all they ever do is arrest Johns. Honestly I find it offensive to people who go through actual human trafficking to call this by the same name.

SickOfLiberalBS Nov 16, 2021 03:23 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

Are you upset because they are removing all your opportunities from the local area and forcing you to travel to find what you are looking for?

If you had any clue about what you are talking about you would realize just how stupid your post reads. I'm sure you know that several of the prostitutes are not there consensually. So to see someone object to poor little johns being arrested for paying for sex makes me wonder about the posters past conduct or maybe their hidden desires.

GeneralTree Nov 16, 2021 03:26 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

It's legal in civilized countries - licensed and regulated. Here we have to deal with the self righteous and religious zealots who continue to legislate morality. Busting human traffickers should be a priority - busting the Johns is just for public relations.

sacjon Nov 16, 2021 04:58 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

SICKOF - Qalm down. Even if a prostitute is doing that unwillingly, unless the John knows that, his INTENT (key factor in this) is to pay for consensual sex. Johns are not human traffickers, they are lonely adults paying for what, in most cases, they consider to be consensual sex with an adult. Go after the pimps and those who facilitate these transactions. They're the ones who know what's happening and have a hand in it. Bust the prostitutes themselves to get them to turn and lead the cops to the source. Busting Johns who thought they were paying for consensual sex is useless and publicly shaming them, as the SBSO likes to do, is just cruel.

Now, there are very much so some deviants and pedos out there who pay for underage girls/boys and they should be removed permanently from society in my opinion. But what the SBSO has been billing as "human trafficking stings" the last few years has been nothing more than a load of lonely/frustrated men who just wanted some consensual "companionship." Focus on the REAL criminals!

a-1637144252 Nov 17, 2021 02:17 AM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

You are both wrong, because we don't have enough information yet.
And actually never will. Even jurors in such a case don't get as much information as publicly exists, and even journalists don't find out as much as the investigators and law enforcement know.
So please don't go making all-encompassing statements about broad statements about a vague case.
Of COURSE I support the women in these cases! I'm commenting on the legal aspect of it. You got a problem with it? Take it up with legislators and support non-profits who care for homeless kids and women and immigrants.

ZeroHawk Nov 17, 2021 11:21 AM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

Sickofrepublicantsloosingallthetime-
"If you had any clue about what you are talking about you would realize just how stupid your post reads. I'm sure you know that several of the prostitutes are not there consensually. So to see someone object to poor little johns being arrested for paying for sex makes me wonder about the posters past conduct or maybe their hidden desires." dude stfu. your handle tells us all that you're narrow minded and your post backs it up.

CoastWatch Nov 16, 2021 03:56 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

Human trafficking and prostitution could be two totally different things... There may be prostitutes who get into the trade to make an income- not every prostitute is necessarily forced into the trade... That being said, there are many that are... Another reason to clue in on the illegal border crossing- There are many (men, women and minors) who ARE forced into labor by organized crime- NOT necessarily the sex trade, but working in low wage earning jobs in hotels, animal processing facilities and more....

RHS Nov 16, 2021 04:24 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

"The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2016 with a $1.34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The grant was renewed in 2020 with an additional $1.2 million in funding for three years. " Is this what $2.54M accomplishes?! Four plus years?! The SBSO should be embarrassed to post such a report. Sex trafficking implies involuntary participation. There is no evidence presented here that the three sex workers were involuntary. If so, congratulations but one has to suspect it would not be hard for a few undercover deputies to run down this public business at a lot less cost. Or alternatively, maybe we should just OK the SBSO to buy the slaves and set them free. Probably a lot cheaper.

doulie Nov 16, 2021 04:50 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

What's being held back in this article? The way I read it, doesn't seem any "traffickers," as they're commonly known today, were arrested, much less involved. Unless there is more to this story, seems the three women arrested are prostitutes and the four sex buyers are "tricks/johns" simply paying the prostitute to engage in a sex act. If the women arrested were being "trafficked" why were they arrested and not released to a social service agency as a "survivor?" A thought out of left field. Since the gender of the "sex buyers" was not identified it is possible but not likely they are women (aka janes). I doubt it matters if the female arrestees are identified or not. Once they don't return to their "trafficker" or "pimp" with cash as planned they will likely suspect an arrest could have occurred. But, I'll guess regarding an investigation it's always good to be cautious.

ChillinGrillin Nov 16, 2021 05:11 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

Misleading headline. Catching a few prostitutes and johns would be another weekend for a law enforcement agency worth their salt. Here in the SBSO fantasy land it’s an “operation.” The thing is, mitigating human trafficking would take actual work ethic and intelligence, both of which are in short supply at the SBSO. Sheriff Brown should have retired 5 years ago, his whole organization is a mess and gives law enforcement a bad name.

edney Nov 16, 2021 06:30 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

The article clearly distinguishes that the 4 sex buyers (usually men) were arrested and the 3 women were simply contacted:
"3 women engaged in the sales of sex acts were contacted and 4 sex buyers were arrested."

My guess is that the SBSO wanted the "3 women engaged in sex acts" to roll on the sex trafficker/pimp, and that did not seem to have happened.

Idesofmarch Nov 16, 2021 07:48 PM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

It seems as though law enforcement just wants to rid the county of prostitution, any way they can. It doesn't stop with SBSO, as the FBI shutting down myredbook a few years back was WAAAAAY more detrimental to the safety of the prostitutes than fishing out a "trafficker", if they've even caught many in the state. That message board was a way for the sex workers to share info about dangerous men who would rob, beat or harass them. It was also a place where the johns could discuss which sex worker to avoid, whether it be due to a pimp, or a bait and switch, or a straight up robbery.

SBWalkers Nov 17, 2021 06:11 AM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

"During the operation, a total of 3 women engaged in the sales of sex acts were contacted and 4 sex buyers were arrested. The names of the arrestees are not available for release due to ongoing investigations." - - Really??? I thought this was 2021 - arrested the buyers - wtf did they do wrong? If they asked for sex and bought the lady a dinner, would that be a reason for arrest?... jeezers!

doulie Nov 17, 2021 07:34 AM
Sheriff's Detectives Conduct Human Trafficking Sting Operation

In again reading the comment posted by RHS (11-16, 04:24 PM), a substantial amount of money ($2.36M) was received by the SBSO since 2016 to investigate "human trafficking." I doubt anyone would disagree this is a lot of money. I'd like to see the Sheriff report the number of people investigated for "human trafficking;" and the number of people arrested for "human trafficking" since 2016 when the "Human Trafficking Task Force" was established. In this report I would like to see the type of activity the person being "trafficked" was forced to engage in and their nationality.

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