Crime - Sacto 911

Countywide sting operation catches 16 ‘Johns’ soliciting prostitutes, DA announces

Law enforcement officials carried out a joint sting operation this week targeting “Johns,” resulting in more than a dozen arrests in the Sacramento area, the district attorney announced Thursday.

Four city police departments and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department joined forces to crack down on those soliciting prostitution or otherwise supporting sex trafficking, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Schubert said in a news release.

The Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Folsom police departments, together with the Sheriff’s Department, made 16 arrests for solicitation of prostitutes on Monday and Wednesday, the DA’s office said. California Highway Patrol, the FBI and the state Probation Department also contributed to the crackdown, known as “Operation: Hot Spots.”

The 16 suspects were not named by the county in the news release, but three arrests made Wednesday in Elk Grove were noted in that department’s daily watch log. Jose Hernandez, 30, Jitendra Lal, 43, and Christopher Gilland, 45, were all arrested for solicitation.

Operation: Hot Spots is a collaboration with Sacramento Together, a coalition of more than 30 law enforcement, state and local public agencies and community-based organizations “working together to treat, educate and remove children and young adults from life threatening situations,” according to the organization’s website.

The countywide law-enforcement effort marks the second annual Hot Spots operation, Schubert said in the release.

The Sacramento Police Department’s efforts were designated a “street operation,” while the rest were referred to as “motel operations,” in the news release.

Solicitation of a prostitute in Sacramento County can carry a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail.

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