|For Immediate Release
July 30, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
THIRTEEN MEN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR SOLICITING SEX FROM UNDERCOVER OFFICER IN HIGH HUMAN TRAFFICKING AREA IN SANTA ANA
SANTA ANA – Thirteen men, who were arrested in an undercover sting operation, pleaded guilty and were sentenced yesterday for soliciting sex or sex acts from an undercover police officer, whom they believed to be a prostitute in an area known for human trafficking. David Arellano, 36; Adan Castillo, 29; Ricardo Diaz, 41; Daniel Lopez, 29; German Lopez, 41; Alberto Napoles, 25; Jose Navarro, 56; Michael Rodriguez, 33; Serafin Romero, 23; Juan Ruiz, 41; Gregorio Sosa, 28; and Fidel Urquiza, 44, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of soliciting another to engage in prostitution. Arellano, Castillo, Lopez, Romero, and Sosa also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving without a license. Each of the defendants were sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit DNA as well as AIDS testing and education.
Andres Dominguez, 44, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one misdemeanor count of soliciting another to engage in prostitution. Dominguez was sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education. As part of the court offer, Dominguez is not required to submit DNA.
On the night of May 28, 2013, the 13 defendants were arrested in an undercover operation by officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) for soliciting sex or sex acts from an undercover female officer, whom they believed to be a prostitute. The defendants approached the undercover officer on First Street in Santa Ana and solicited sex in exchange for money.
This area of First Street is known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and is known to frequently be used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers.
This case was prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.
The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources to raise public awareness and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity to inform the community about the problem and notify human traffickers and sex purchasers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.