Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies arrested or cited dozens of men for soliciting prostitution and found more than 40 potential human trafficking victims during a series of stings in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl, a sheriff’s sergeant said.
The Super Bowl, held this year in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, is believed to bring increased prostitution activity so the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office stepped up enforcement for three weeks as the game approached.
During that time, deputies found at least 42 potential human trafficking victims and put more than 20 of them in touch with social workers, sheriff’s Sgt. James Jensen said.
Two or more of those victims were under 18 years old. One victim was 15 years old and another was 17 years old, Jensen said. Most victims were from outside Santa Clara County.
However, some of the women and girls engaging in prostitution were determined not to be victims. One girl was cited for prostitution and resisting arrest, another was contacted twice during the stings and cited, and two were cited for loitering with intent for prostitution.
One potential victim disclosed other crimes when contacted, Jensen said.
Deputies also cited or arrested 30 men for soliciting prostitution. Four people were cited for aiding in prostitution, one person was arrested for violating a domestic violence restraining order and three people were arrested for outstanding warrants, Jensen said.
Deputies also recovered a stolen gun during the stings.
The stings resulted in at least one football player being stopped and questioned — Denver Broncos practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was stopped during a sting near Mineta San Jose International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
While Murphy was determined to have committed no crime, the Broncos sent him back to Denver anyway.
The Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Sunday’s game.