Eight arrested as part of prostitution sting in Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - An undercover operation led to the arrests of eight men on prostitution related charges in Santa Maria.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Officer conducted sting operations that led to the arrests of the men after they all responded to a prostitution advertisement put up by county investigators.

The men arrived at a Santa Maria hotel on Thursday in response to the ad and were arrested on scene.

The eight men -- from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties -- will likely face charges for soliciting prostitution.

Arrested suspects ranged in age from 23 to 69.

County law enforcement often go undercover using websites known to solicit prostitution as part of an ongoing effort to combat human trafficking in Santa Barbara County.

These large-scale busts are meant to deter people from seeking out prostitutes.

The following five men were arrested and face charges for soliciting prostitution:

  • Alexis Oliveros, 23, of Santa Maria
  • Walter Thomas, 69, of Lompoc        
  • Samuel Fast, 27, of Santa Maria      
  • Christopher Rodgers, 24, of Santa Maria                 
  • Wayne Pong, 53, of Santa Maria

The following two men face narcotics related charges in addition to the prostitution charges:

  • Braulio Cisneros-Chavez, 20, of Paso Robles
  • Christian Rodriguez-Ibarra, 23, of Paso Robles 

Deputies say both men had negotiated a sex act in exchange for cocaine.

Another man was arrested and faces charges for attempting to meet a minor for lewd purpose in addition to the prostitution charges.

  • Edward Scheuerman, 61, of Paso Robles

Deputies say Scheuerman attempted to negotiate a sex act with a person he believed was under the age of 18. He appeared in Santa Maria Superior Court where he pled not guilty. Scheuerman's bail was set at $75,000.

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