Sunday, February 25 , 2018, 4:43 pm | Fair 60º


Local News

20 Arrested at Goleta Hotel in Prostitution Sting Using Online Classified Ads

A local police sting targeting people using a popular classified advertising website to find prostitutes has led to the arrest of 20 men at a Goleta hotel.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives with the Special Investigations Bureau and Santa Barbara police officers conducted a reverse “John” sting operation on July 7-8 at an undisclosed hotel, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

“The sting involved investigators placing an online ad on, a website known for online prostitution-related advertisements,” Hoover said. “Once the ad was placed, a female undercover detective negotiated with an inquiring person or ‘John’ a sexual act for an amount of money.”

After an agreement was made, she explained, the undercover detective provided her location. When the “John” arrived, he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution, she said.

Hoover said all of those arrested were cooperative with authorities.

Those booked into County Jail for violation of solicitation of prostitution included:

» Vatche Agob, 20, of Isla Vista

» Christopher Blaul, 48, of Santa Barbara

» Ramon Chavez-Antolino, 34, of Santa Barbara 

» Edward Farley, 66, of Santa Barbara

» Eric Fowler, 43, of Fresno

» Jeremiah Frazier, 23, of Santa Barbara

» Peter Gaum, 57, of Santa Barbara

» Ger Hang, 31, of Lompoc

​» Keisuke Hata, 21, of Goleta

» Isaac Kielmanowicz, 20, of Santa Barbara

» Justin Litterelle, 35, of Philadelphia

» Laszlo Nagy-Berta, 44, of Ventura

» ​​Nho Nguyen, 59, of Santa Barbara

» Allen Obiols, 51, of Santa Barbara

» Antonio Perez-Collado, 56, of Goleta

​» Juan Pimentel, 44, of Goleta

» Jesus Saldana, 28, of Santa Barbara

» Jose Torres, 23, of Goleta

» Matthew Wu, 20, of Santa Barbara

» Juan Zepeda-Corona, 40, of Solvang

Hoover said the number of online prostitution-related advertisements has seen significant growth in recent years.

“By conducting these types of operations, the intention is to deter people, or the ‘Johns,’ from searching for a prostitute, thereby reducing the demand and hopefully reducing the amount of women who fall victim to the abuse of human trafficking,” she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >