Twenty-one people, including several alleged prostitutes and customers, were arrested on suspicion of operating or working at brothels in Moreno Valley, a sheriff's sergeant said today.
Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Zachary Hall said the arrests also included a manager and security personnel from three brothels. All were arrested as the result of a months-long investigation into houses of prostitution within city limits, Hall said.
``It took us a lot of time to find the brothels and infiltrate them,'' Hall said, adding that the sting also targeted several massage parlors.
Hall said an undercover deputy posed as a masseuse looking for work and
a local brothel manager convinced her to work as a prostitute instead. Hall added that the manager promised the deputy large amounts of money and a higher
quality of life.
During the operation, another undercover deputy met with a brothel manager and was introduced to several girls. After paying the manager a fee, he was allowed to choose a prostitute, the sergeant said.
After the deal was made, deputies swarmed the brothel and arrested everyone inside, he said. The deputies ran the brothel for several hours and arrested 15 people, according to Hall.
The sergeant said five of the people were arrested for knowingly purchasing a 15-year-old girl for sexual purposes.
One of the brothels was concealed inside a dry cleaning business and another was operating out of a single-family home in a residential neighborhood, Hall said.
The services of the brothels were advertised in the Pennysaver, the Comunidad Latina Magazine and on several social networking sites on the Internet, according to Hall.
other places affected: Yes