SAN BERNARDINO – Police arrested nine men in connection with a weekend prostitution sweep conducted to target those seeking to solicit females.
“It’s what we call a ‘John’ program,” said Lt. Ron Maass on Monday, adding that undercover vice unit police officers are used to target males.
“The latest program was in the Baseline (St.) corridor, between Mt. Vernon and Waterman,” he said, “though we run them throughout the city.”
Arrested were Librado Gutierrez-Garcia, 27, Jose Uzcanga, 32, Erick Silva, 20, Erik Rojas-Perez, 22, Arturo Flores, 25, and Kennedy Toscano, 27, all of San Bernardino.
Martin Urena, 30, of Fontana, Mario Reza-Lopez, 47, of Laredo, Texas and Eliseo Vasquez, 26, of Riverside were also arrested in the sweep.
Another man, said Maass, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.
Each was issued a citation on charges.
Said Maass: “The outcome of each arrest is dependent upon the conviction history of the defendant.”
For a first-time offense, he said, they are subject to a fine and up to six months in county jail, “though most typically result in the fine.”
A second offense, he said, has a statutory minimum of 45 days in county jail with a third or subsequent offense resulting in a statutory minimum of 90 days in county jail.
Maass added another condition, saying, “if the offense was committed within 1,000 feet of a residence, then the defendant may have their drivers’ license suspended for up to 30 days or even restricted for up to six months.
“Allowing their driving only to and from employment or education,” he said.
Maass said in a release, “This program is one of an ongoing series of programs to substantially reduce the incidence of prostitution related activities within the city of San Bernardino.”
Last month, vice units targeted prostitutes, the sweep netting 41 arrests on 30 related charges.