Santa Ana Police Raid Hotels in Undercover Prostitution Bust

Police target johns looking to pay for sex. They believe if they target solicitation, the demand for prostitutes will go down.

By Gadi Schwartz and Samia Khan
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 3:34 AM PDT
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Santa Ana hotel rooms were raided while cameras rolled as part of an undercover prostitution sting on a popular stretch of Orange County roadway. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.

Santa Ana hotel rooms were raided while cameras rolled as part of an undercover prostitution sting on a popular stretch of Orange County roadway. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.

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A new program by the Santa Ana Police aims to curb prostitution, according to an NBC4 report.

Once a month, two female police officers go undercover and pose as prostitutes. Investigators then raid hotel rooms, and as a result, are able to catch johns looking to pay for sex.

READ: Police Bust Brother Next to Elementary School

Police believe if they make an effort to target solicitation, the demand for prostitutes will go down.

"If we know that there’s no supply out there, then the demand will go away. Ultimately our goal is to clean up the streets so that the community, businesses, residents aren’t affected by this problem," a Santa Ana Police officer said.

READ: Santa Ana Sexual Assault Suspect Arrested

The District Attorney has been regularly sending out names and pictures of those caught during the sting since last April. Officials hope that by releasing names and pictures, less people will involve themselves with prostitutes.

Tuesday night, police caught 10 men – one of whom was a man in the military. He was cited for solicitation and charge with a misdemeanor. NBC4’s sister station, Telemundo 52, captured footage of Tuesday’s sting.

READ: Woman Charged With Prostitution After Accidentally Texting Cop

Since last April, over 100 johns have been arrested, including pilots, high school teachers, and doctors, NBC4 reported.

Solicitation carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1000 fine.

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