16 arrested in prostitution sting in Castaic
In an ongoing effort to address the prostitution problem in Castaic, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has conducted a second "john" sting and prostitution sweep around a high-traffic trucking area.
At least 16 men were arrested in Thursday's sweep, according to a statement released Friday by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. The sting was conducted to address complaints about prostitution along Castaic Road, a popular spot for truck traffic, according to authorities.
Most of the men were arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitution and loitering with the intent to commit prostitution. At least one man was wanted by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while another was wanted for a Los Angeles County probation violation. A third man was cited for a misdemeanor narcotics warrant. One man was taken into custody on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance, the statement said.
In the previous sweep conducted in February, 18 people were arrested.
Of those, 14 were men held on suspicion of soliciting prostitution; two were women held on suspicion of loitering with the purpose of prostitution; and two were men held on suspicion of interfering with a peace officer. One of the men arrested was also accused of sexual battery.
The sweep was conducted by the Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Bureau with assistance from members of the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, an outreach program adopted in 1999 by the department to address community issues.
Authorities plan to conduct more operations to "deter this type of activity," the statement said.
-- Ruben Vives