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9 arrested in undercover sex trafficking sting operation at Palm Desert hotel

Authorities arrested 9 people during an undercover sex trafficking demand reduction operation at a Palm Desert hotel on Thursday.

According to a news release by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, undercover officers operating at a resort hotel in the 74-800 block of Country Club Drive placed decoy advertisements for prostitution on "classified advertisement websites."

Members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, with assistance from the Palm Desert Sheriff's Station, then responded to prospective customers who replied to the prostitution ads. After reaching an agreement for paid sex acts, the “Johns” were arrested when they arrived at the hotel.

At the same time, other RCAHT members used other escort advertisements posted in the area and negotiated acts of prostitution. The women who responded to the undercover officers were told to go to the hotel, where they were also placed under arrest.

In total, nine people were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges.

  • Andrea Hill, 33, of Cathedral City
  • Ajdin Bajramovic, 21, of Bermuda Dunes
  • Somara Thomas, 23, of Victorville
  • Luis Hernandez, 34, of Palm Desert
  • Abraham Trujillo, 31, of Palm Desert
  • Amy Gunning, 54, of Palm Springs
  • Jeremy Villegas, 38, of Pearblossom
  • Mariah Romero, 25, of Desert Hot Springs
  • Jacky Abichat, 45, of Culver City

All nine subjects were booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. All have been released after posting bail. The four women arrested were provided with access to resources that can assist them in escaping from a life of sex trafficking.

The RCAHT works to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue and apprehend those who seek to exploit those whom are most vulnerable. Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Sergeant John Sawyer of the RCAHT Task Force at (951) 955-1700, or via email at jsawyer@riversidesheriff.org.

Crime / News / News Headlines

Jesus Reyes

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