SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A 20-year-old man from North Highlands, California is facing pimping and pandering criminal charges after being arrested in the City of Santa Barbara.
Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Bureau were investigating a report of an underage girl being trafficked for sex within the Santa Barbara area. The girl was later determined to be 18 years old.
During the investigation, detectives discovered the young woman and her alleged pimp, later identified as Mikah D'Shawn Reese, 20, were staying at a motel in Santa Barbara.
A detective contacted the 18-year-old woman through an online escort page advertising prostitution-related services, and negotiated a sex act in exchange for money. When the woman arrived at a hotel in Goleta, authorities detained her for further questioning.
Detectives then served a search warrant at the Santa Barbara motel where they arrested Reese. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said Reese "was acting as a pimp for the female." He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for pimping and pandering. His bail was set at $200,000.
The 18-year-old was put in touch with a specially trained human trafficking advocate from the Victim-Witness Program of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office, according to the Sheriff's Office. She was later released on a citation of Solicitation of Prostitution.
The Sheriff's Office said in a statement:
The sting is part of an ongoing effort to combat human trafficking in the county assisted by a federal grant received in late 2016. The grant funding helps agencies investigate, prosecute and provide victim services.
The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office along with the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office are committed to combatting all forms of human trafficking within Santa Barbara County and will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute traffickers while also offering services for persons being trafficked.