RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Sheriff Chad Bianco
|Press Release:||Operation Reclaim and Rebuild 2022|
|Written Date:||February 16, 2022||Time:||9:00 AM|
|Incident Date:||February 7-10, 2022||Time:||11:00 AM|
|Incident Location:||Multiple Locations in Riverside County (Cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Temecula, Riverside and San Jacinto|
|Reporting Officer:||Sergeant Jose Tijerina / Sergeant Robert Menchaca|
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) in partnership with the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team, Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team, Lake Elsinore Special Enforcement Team, Temecula Metro Team, Riverside County Gang Task Force Region 6, Riverside Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations effected thirty eight arrests during a nearly week-long proactive enforcement operation that targeted online prostitution and those whose demand for these unlawful activities fuels an illicit underground economy, both locally as well as across the State of California. Riverside County’s role in this operation, dubbed Operation Reclaim & Rebuild, ran four consecutive days before concluding on February 10, 2022. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is an annual multi-agency statewide initiative that focuses on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, identifying and arresting their captors, and disrupting demand for these vulnerable victims. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is timed to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and serves as a reminder that human trafficking will not be tolerated in California.
Last year’s “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild” included participation from over 100 law enforcement agencies statewide and resulted in total 450 arrest, and 39 victims rescued, including 13 children.
For this year’s operation, RCAHT task force officers and our allied Riverside County law enforcement partners held operations in the cities of Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Riverside, Palm Desert, San Jacinto and Temecula. Over the span of four consecutive days, the task force arrested 31 males and 7 females for solicitation of prostitution to include 4 adult victims rescued.p>
Task force officers also made contact with two adult females believed to be victims of sex trafficking. Initial investigations led the task force to believe these subjects were being forced to engage in acts of prostitution against their will. The identity of these victims will not be released pursuant to state confidentiality laws. The victims were referred to victim services for assistance as the investigation into their sex trafficking continues.
Task force officers placed decoy advertisements on popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of prostitution. These officers then responded to prospective customers who replied to these advertisements. Once an agreement for prostitution was brokered, the customers were arrested upon their arrival at a pre-determined meeting location. Concurrently, other task force officers negotiated agreed upon acts of prostitution based upon other escort advertisements that were posted online in the area. In these instances, females who responded to the undercover officers posing as customers were directed to meet. After their arrival and an interview, if the females were determined not to be victims of human trafficking, they too were arrested.
Arrested during the operation for solicitation of prostitution and carry a loaded firearm:
- Austin Spargo, 25 of Murrieta
Arrested during the operation for solicitation for prostitution, possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia:
Arrested during the operation for solicitation of prostitution were:
- Adrian Duro, 21 of Thermal
- Antonio Adan Torres Molina, 29 of Indio
- Courtney Burge, 44 of Lake Elsinore
- Desiree Green, 27 of Hemet
- Domitri Jones, 47 of Moreno Valley
- Donneshia Chapple, 25 of Hemet
- Duwayne Speas, 30 of Murrieta
- Esteban Bernabe, 41 of Riverside
- Christine Weigert, 25 of El Cajon
- Christopher Shick, 30 of Hemet
- Eddie Williams, 44 of Desert Hot Springs
- Gary Koenig, 53 of Hemet
- Giovani Pedro, 25 of Lake Elsinore
- Jasmine Washington, 24 of Moreno Valley
- Jerry Bejar, 29 of Long Beach
- Jin Park, 21 of Eastvale
- Jordan Saunders, 26 of San Jacinto
- Jorge Paniagua, 21 of Hemet
- Joseph Moskowitz, 29 of Hemet
- Joshua Baker, 32 of Riverside
- Justin Michael Steubs, 43 of Thousand Palms
- Keith Docs, 46 of Vista
- Keith Terranova, 42 of La Quinta
- Kelli Roma, 40 of Cathedral City
- Lorraine Cuevas, 31 of Moreno Valley (Not Pictured)
- Marquez Arnold, 23 of Lake Elsinore
- Michael Wilkins, 50 of Temecula
- Nicole Sawdey, 38 of Indio
- Nolan Padua, 35 of Murrieta
- Richard Laryea, 27 of Sun City
- Renee Barrera, 27 of San Jacinto
- Roger Henri Lavigne, 71 of Indio
- Stewart Smith, 33 of Menifee
- Uchechi Lever, 24 of Beaumont
- Wayne Hawkins, 60 of Lake Elsinore
- Zaldana Parada, 48 of Moreno Valley
Subjects arrested during this operation were transported to the detention center in closest proximity to the operational area(s) each day. During this multi-day operation, bookings occurred at the John B. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, and the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Following booking, each arrestee was ultimately released upon their written promise to later appear in court.
The RCAHT Task Force extends its sincere appreciation to the Southwest Sheriff’s Station, Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station, Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station, Thermal Sheriff Station, San Jacinto Sheriff Station, Riverside Police Department and Homeland Security of Investigations for their support in conducting these joint operations. Without the commitment of personnel and resources from each of these participating agencies, these operations would not have been met with the same level of success.
Prostitution is not a “victimless” crime. Those victimized by commercial sexual exploitation frequently have long histories of emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse or trauma in their backgrounds. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking victims are often subjected not only to severe forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those that solicit them for prostitution.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force seeks to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue, and apprehend those who seek to exploit those who are most vulnerable. Through proactive enforcement operations, RCAHT works to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
Report Human Trafficking activity or tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888
Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Sergeant Jose T.J. Tijerina or Sergeant Robert Menchaca of the RCAHT Task Force at (951) 955-1700.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2010 and the eastern Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2020. Both address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion. These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCAHT Task Force is a multidisciplinary task force that combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement. The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation SafeHouse, Rebirth Homes, Run 2 Rescue, and Million Kids. The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Riverside County Probation Department, along with part-time participation of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
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