Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 14, 2024
15 Arrested in Lake Elsinore Prostitution Sting as Efforts Intensify to Combat Sex Trafficking in Riverside CountySource: Facebook/Riverside County Sheriff's Office

In a recent crackdown on sex trafficking in Riverside County, the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station Special Enforcement Team, and the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) have made multiple arrests following a so-called "John" prostitution sting. The aim was to target the demand for sexual services to curb sex trafficking in the city of Lake Elsinore. On June 12, the operation successfully led to the arrest of 15 individuals on prostitution-related offenses and the identification of five possible victims who were subsequently provided with victim services and resources, as reported by the Riverside County Sheriff.

The list of those arrested includes individuals from various cities within and around Riverside County, some of the names publicly released are Travis Blancarte, 42, from Hemet, Brandon Santiago, 36, from Menifee, and Blair Gilliard, 33, from Lake Elsinore. The sting reflects the ongoing effort by local law enforcement to disrupt the trafficking networks that exploit vulnerable individuals for profit. According to a statement obtained by Riverside County Sheriff's website, "Prostitution is not a victimless crime," as stated by the Riverside County Sheriff.

Officials have encouraged anyone with additional information to step forward and contact Deputy Castro or Deputy Costin at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station. For those who suspect they may know a victim of human trafficking, resources are available through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, or by reaching out to local law enforcement. The community plays a significant role, and as such, residents and business owners are urged to report any suspected criminal activity to law enforcement immediately.