MORENO VALLEY – During a prostitution sting, Moreno Valley Police were able to target and arrest a man suspected of working as a pimp in the city and surrounding areas.
In an ongoing investigation officers from the Moreno Valley Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Team prostitutes working in the city of Moreno Valley and surrounding communities located a woman believed to be a prostitute on September 9, 2015, at approximately 6:00 PM.
During this investigation, the officers of the POP unit identified a 19-year-old female for prostitution. MVPD POP Deputy Chavez assumed the investigation and began investigating the prostitutes’ activities. According to a press release from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Chavez discovered the prostitute had numerous aliases as well as arrests in five other states for prostitution since the age of 16.
On further investigation, Deputy Chavez identified Cirilo Stephens, age 33 of Perris as a possible pimp for the 19-year-old prostitute. Further delving into Stephens’ activities, officers discovered that he was reserving and paying for hotel rooms for the prostitute in Ontario and Moreno Valley in 2015.
The net grew wider when n November 19, 2015, Deputy Chavez reportedly found that the same 19-year-old prostitute was operating in the San Bernardino area. Deputy Chavez contacted deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the investigation.
On November 20, 2015, SBSO assisted MVPD POP officers were able to locate the suspected pimp, Cirilo Stephens. Surveillance units reported seeing the prostitute and Stephens leaving a hotel together in the same vehicle. Officer’s followed and conducted a traffic stop. At this time, the prostitute was arrested for an outstanding prostitution warrant. Stephens was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for pimping and pandering.
The Riverside Sheriff’s Department notes that persons engaged in sexual exploitation are sometimes victims of human trafficking and requests that anyone with information regarding human trafficking call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Special Investigations Bureau Human Trafficking Team at (951) 955-1700.