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For the first time in years, Santa Ana's vice unit is back on patrol targeting one of the community's most pervasive problems -- prostitution. Budget cuts in forced the specialized unit to be eliminated, sending vice officers back to regular patrol. The sex industry spiraled out of control. Added an undercover detective: "These Johns will pick up these girls.


And when the police leave they return, some of them so bold as to al passing motorists by raising their skirts or their blouses. Scheer has heard this story before a thousand times. They came to Harbor and Beach Boulevard and found that business was good. She smiles for the first time. They wanted to present a good face to the world. Prostitutes in santa ana ca is a story about an aunt in Anaheim, but that proves to be a lie. The prostitutes returned in force. Debby searches for the words to explain what brought her here, why she has chosen to risk so much for what clearly seems so degrading and dangerous a profession.

Some of the best of Orange County is represented here--Disneyland, the Anaheim Convention Center and the luxury hotels that surround them--but also some of the worst.

Now older and tired and increasingly unable to compete with the younger circuit girls, she says she has resorted to stealing to maintain her habit. Perhaps, Scheer said, it was destined that Orange County would make the circuit. I just need a little help, you know. There is a hardness in her voice, a tone that says she has been through this before, but she seems vulnerable too, and just a bit scared. I had to jump out of the car while it was moving. Brown spots a rusty Ford with two people in the front seat behind a motel known as a hangout for prostitutes.

Santa ana police to publish names, photos of people charged with prostitution on website

Just 3 weeks ago, police said, there were so many prostitutes at the corner of Westminster and Harbor that their presence created traffic jams as curious motorists slowed for a closer view of the spectacle of so many in one place. Debby pulls up her sleeves. If police launch a crackdown in one city, the pimps move their operations to another.

Oh, 15 years. The same factors that have put other areas on the map--wealth, a steady influx of tourists and business travelers, a well-lighted thoroughfare busy at all hours--are here as well. In it is a list of names and telephone s, some cash and a knife. The money is just too good.

Julianne rolls up the sweater over the other arm to the elbow. Authorities say one of the most popular current circuits includes Tacoma, Wash. Finally Debby begins to talk about her family.

Scheer said pimps prefer Santa Ana and Garden Grove, as well as parts of Beach Boulevard in Stanton, because they know that when their women are arrested, they are likely to be released within a few hours because there is no room at the Orange County Jail. I mean, man, I was a manager in a restaurant once!

Lots of guys in business suits and nice cars. So what happened? Debby sits awkwardly in a metal chair at the Santa Ana police substation at the corner of Harbor and 1st Street. He scared me, really bad. I swear. They keep shooting the drug up their veins and going to bed with anyone who comes along until they die of an overdose or AIDS or end up in jail. You have people getting prostitutes in santa ana ca.

But they are never gone for long. Not too long ago it was just another congested commercial thoroughfare slicing through the heart of Orange County from Costa Mesa north to La Habra--a bit tacky but always vibrant, always busy. She related one incident:. It is not uncommon for groups of 20 to 30 prostitutes to gather on one corner, at 5th Street or Westminster or Hazard avenues, and boisterously yell at passing cars.

Sometimes, when the circuit girls are out in force, it is not uncommon for this small office to be packed with 30 or 40 prostitutes being photographed and fingerprinted. Drug deals on some parts of Harbor are rampant, cheap motels cater to transients and pimps, and in recent years the boulevard has become a regular and lucrative stop on the national circuit of professional prostitutes.

William Scheer is cruising Harbor in an unmarked white Chrysler with his partner, Cpl. Kevin Brown, a muscular ex-Marine. Debby is nervous, and when she answers questions her eyes rarely leave the floor.

Prostitution & solicitation

She has been working Harbor for about 3 months. Her mood begins to prostitutes in santa ana ca as she realizes she is about to walk out the door. An FBI spokesman in Los Angeles said the investigation would focus on the groups of women and their pimps who approach their trade like a traveling salesman: one week they are in Portland, Ore. The operation is basically going to be aimed at the pimps and not the prostitutes themselves, the spokesman said. And there is an added attraction to Orange County. Scheer, 44, is a tall man with a shock of Irish-red hair and a gentle manner.

The city of Santa Ana tried to go after prostitutes by declaring them a public nuisance and then barring them from the streets. If I get the money. She voluntarily agreed to come here so Scheer and Brown can check the records to see if she has had any prior convictions for prostitution. She says she is a high school graduate and that one day, perhaps, there is college in her future. A Superior Court judge rejected the plan.

You mean how long? She is really staying at a local motel, and she produces a key from her right shoe to prove it. It is covered with small green heroin tracks, dozens of them, the result of more than a decade of abuse.

She is the only woman here this night. A few have been found to be as young as 12, but most are in their teens or early 20s.

‘john sting’ in anaheim nets 11 arrests as officers target demand side of human sex trafficking

What does scare her are the occasional dates that turn violent and ugly. She was simply hitching a ride down Harbor. He wanted my money. All the girls on the street, she says, make sure their customers use condoms.

Harbor blvd. now part of prostitutes’ national map

Sure, it can be scary. When a police car approaches, they fade out of the lights and into the shadows, some of them seeking the shelter of a hour coffee shop or restaurant. I look for white guys usually, in business suits. The arms are clean of any marks that would indicate intravenous drug use. Prostitutes in santa ana ca up my knees and legs real bad.

Scheer tries to calm her, talking to her in soothing monotones, asking her questions, getting the same old answers. Debby is a prostitute. The prostitution problem has become so serious that the FBI is creating a regional task force to target pimps in Orange County. If I got a little help, man, I could go straight. A delicate gold chain with a single pearl is draped around her neck and a small black purse is swung over her shoulder.

A lot of them came down here. You know? On a busy night, women like Debby--some of them children, really--can be found on the street corners of Harbor Boulevard flagging down cars and soliciting business. The strips look the same after a while, wide avenues melting into an after-hours sea of neon dotted with motels, all-night coffee shops, adult bookstores and seedy bars.

He has been a cop for 16 years, 5 of them with the vice squad. Straighten up my life.

Santa ana's vice squad cracks down on prostitution

I pick my dates pretty good. As she talks in a rapid-fire stream of jumbled thoughts and half-truths, she gestures wildly with her hands, alternately laughing and pleading and crying.

Tonight she is working Harbor Boulevard, an Orange County hangout for prostitutes and pimps and the small-time punks who peddle their crack and heroin, and tomorrow maybe it will be Sunset Boulevard or San Diego or somewhere else. He went crazy, all this yelling and everything. Debby is tall and blonde and hardened well beyond her 18 years.

He has dealt with more prostitutes and drug addicts and fast-talking con men than he wants to remember, and he has been around long enough to remember a time when prostitutes in santa ana ca was rare to see streetwalkers on Harbor. And there is.

Like Debby, most of the circuit girls are young. Julianne is 34 but could easily pass for She is wearing blue jeans, a dark sweater and dirty tennis shoes, and she is flying high from a recent injection of drugs.

Recent girls


Cruising down Beach Boulevard last month, in broad daylight just five days before Christmas, he spotted a woman who appeared to be a street prostitute.


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The defendants in these cases approached a woman, whom they believed to be a prostitute, or loitered in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County.


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