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Eight men and one woman have been arrested after being caught in an undercover sex trafficking operation that used fake prostitution advertisements in La Quinta.

In the prostitution sting, members of the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team, Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District on Tuesday placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites frequently used for the solicitation of online prostitution, said Sgt. George Acevedo of the Riverside County Sheriffs Department.

They then responded to prospective customers replying to these prostitution advertisements and those who responded were arrested upon their arrival at a pre-determined meeting location, Acevedo said.

La Quinta is a mostly upscale small city east of Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

The La Quinta team also negotiated agreed upon acts of prostitution based upon other escort advertisements that were posted online in the area. Women who responded to the undercover officers posing as customers who were determined not to be victims of sex trafficking were arrested, Acevedo added.

The La Quinta Special Enforcement Team is asking anyone with additional information on the case to call La Quinta Special Enforcement Team Deputy Michael Scott at 760-863-8990 or call anonymously at 760-341-STOP (7867) and reference incident # LA211730011.

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