As part of the operation, which took place over four days, law enforcement officers posted online ads offering sex for sale, according to a news release issued by the state Attorney General’s Office.
People who responded to the ads and showed up at an agreed-upon location were arrested on suspicion of solicitation. One of the people who was arrested was in possession of cocaine and ketamine, which can be used as a “date rape” drug, according to the two offices.
The undercover sting, dubbed “Operation Century Week,” ran the first four days of November and was a joint investigation through the San Diego Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. The arrests occurred in San Diego, Encinitas, National City and Santee.
San Diego city and county prosecutors will review each arrest and decide whether to file criminal charges.
“We will not tolerate this modern-day slavery of vulnerable children and young adults being bought and sold like a piece of pizza. Human beings are not for sale, ” District Attorney Summer Stephan said in the news release.
City Attorney Mara Elliott said victims will get access to services and counseling provided through “Your Safe Place,” a Family Justice Center in San Diego. North County has a similar center, “One Safe Place,” in San Marcos.