Artesia, CA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Artesia is a small city of approximately 17,000 residents, located in southeast Los Angeles County near Norwalk and Cerritos. Though reports of prostitution in the community remain limited, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has taken a proactive stance to reduce local demand for commercial sex.

In late May 2015, sheriff’s deputies conducted a reverse sting that netted five individuals, including two johns. Female undercover officers posed as decoys along two major thoroughfares in Artesia. According to media reports, “two males were arrested almost immediately for prostitution-based offenses. Soon after the operation began, [however], the undercover detectives were aggressively approached by three men who said they were pimps. After some subsequent hostile dialogue, the three were arrested for pandering and attempted robbery of an undercover detective.”

The identities of the arrestees were not disclosed to the public. Interestingly, some media outlets reported the sting had netted five johns. Given that three of the men were charged with pandering and attempted robbery (after attempting and failing to recruit the decoys), it is unlikely that they should be considered “johns.”

Key Partners

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
State California
Type City
Population 16522
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