Friday, April 20 , 2018, 4:28 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Sheriff’s Investigators Arrest 8 People for Prostitution-Related Crimes in Santa Maria

Eight people were arrested for prostitution related crimes following an undercover operation conducted at a Santa Maria hotel on Aug. 10 by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau and Criminal Investigations Bureau.

The sting is part of an ongoing effort to combat Human Trafficking in Santa Barbara County. This has partially been made possible by both the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office receiving a federal grant addressing Human Trafficking in late 2016.

Both offices collaborate together to investigate, prosecute, and provide victim services.

For this particular sting, investigators placed an online add on a publicly accessible website known for online prostitution-related advertisements. The advertisement announced the availability of a female willing to engage in sexual acts in exchange for money.

Once the ad was placed, an undercover detective negotiated with an inquiring person, or “John,” a sexual act for an amount of money. After the negotiation, the undercover detective gave the person the location of the hotel to meet for the sex act.

Once the person arrived at the location, the person was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. It should be noted, that all subjects arrested were cooperative when contacted by arresting detectives.

Five male subjects were arrested, and then booked and released with a notice to appear for violation of solicitation of prostitution, including 23-year-old Alexis Oliveros of Santa Maria; 69-year- old Walter Thomas of Lompoc; 27-year-old Samuel Fast of Santa Maria; 24-year-old Christopher Rodgers of Santa Maria; and 53-year-old Wayne Pong of Santa Maria. 

Two Paso Robles men, 20-year-old Braulio Cisneros-Chavez and 23-year-old Christian Rodriguez-Ibarra, were arrested during the operation and booked for additional narcotic-related charges since the suspect had negotiated a sex act in exchange for cocaine.

Edward Scheuerman, 61, of Paso Robles was arrested when he arrived at the location after negotiating a sex act with a person he believed was under the age of 18. He was booked at the jail on
charges of arriving to meet a minor for a lewd purpose and for solicitation of prostitution.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to conduct these type of stings and other human trafficking related stings throughout Santa Barbara County. Over the years, the number of online prostitution related advertisements have grown substantially.

A majority of the women who engage in prostitution are victims of various types of abuse and/or human trafficking. One issue that drives human trafficking is the demand for women to engage in prostitution.

By conducting this type of operation, 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.

Kelly Hoover is public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

 
  • 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.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >