SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Dozens of human trafficking and prostitution-related arrests and citations were made in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl 50, according to law enforcement officials in the South Bay.
In Santa Clara County, sheriff’s deputies arrested or cited 30 men for soliciting prostitution and found 42 potential human trafficking victims during a series of stings in the three weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Santa Clara County sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said.
Four people were cited for aiding in prostitution, Jensen said.
Two or more of the victims were under 18 years old. One victim was 15 and another was 17, Jensen said.
Most victims were from outside Santa Clara County.
Some of the women and girls identified as engaging in prostitution were determined not to be victims, and were instead cited.
On the Thursday before the Super Bowl, following several weeks of surveillance and detailed investigations, law enforcement officials conducting an anti-human trafficking operation in Millbrae established probable cause and linked the occupants of a residence there to acts of prostitution.
Detectives executed a search warrant for a home in the 300 block of Pine Street in Millbrae, located just across the freeway from San Francisco International Airport, and seized a number of items that apparently showed that the residence was being used as a house of prostitution.
Kamonrat Sun, 43, was the sole occupant of the residence and arrested for prostitution. She was booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
On Wednesday, detectives for the Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Task Force set up a rendezvous with a female who was posting an ad offering adult entertainment escort services on the classified advertising website, Backpage.com. Detectives responded to the ad and were directed to go to a motel in Milpitas, just north of San Jose, Jensen said.
The undercover detectives went to the motel room for the rendezvous and found three females inside. The female pictured in the ad was identified as a 17-year-old girl from out of the area, according to Jensen.
Detectives determined the teen girl was a commercially sexually exploited minor, or CSEC, and they contacted the Department of Family & Children’s Services.
Investigators determined that Tekera “Taco” Scott, a 20-year-old woman from Sacramento, and the oldest female found with the minor, was sexually exploiting the teenager by placing ads for her to perform sex acts in exchange for money.
Officers arrested Scott on suspicion of the human trafficking of a minor and pandering. She was then booked into county jail.
When detectives searched the motel room, they also found a loaded firearm, Jensen said.
On the Tuesday before the Super Bowl, authorities were targeting an area of San Jose allegedly known for prostitution when Denver Broncos practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was caught with a group allegedly involved in prostitution at a San Jose motel.
“Ryan Murphy was there with associates that were involved in the criminal activities,” Jensen said.
Deputies did not cite Murphy but detained a suspected female prostitute in the area of North First Street and Brokaw Road. The woman told task force members that she had to go to a car that was parked in a gas station near the intersection to retrieve some property. Murphy was inside that car along with his brother.
Murphy was sent back to Denver prior to the Super Bowl.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Task Force said the business of selling sex was up in the weeks and days leading up to the Super Bowl.
“The ads have increased, both with the females in the prostitution and the males looking for prostitutes,” Jensen said prior to the Super Bowl.
On Jan. 29, prostitution stings at four massage parlors in Santa Cruz led to four arrests.
At each business, workers allegedly offered to have sex with undercover officers in exchange for money, according to police.
The women, all between the ages of 30 and 50, and all identified as Chinese nationals, were cited for soliciting an act of prostitution, according to police.
Law enforcement officials targeted the businesses based on complaints and suspicions from the community, police said.
Human trafficking victims seeking assistance may call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or Monarch Services at (888) 900-4232.
By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter
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