Medford Police: 20 people arrested in undercover sex trafficking operation

Medford, Ore.- 20 people are facing charges after Medford Police Department and the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team conducted an undercover operation to address online sex trafficking.

According to Medford Police Department, investigators posted online ads on known sex trafficking websites and apps. Officers also responded to ads posted by others on the same platforms.

The operation focused on two strategies, one targeting men seeking sex from prostitutes and another targeting women exchanging sex for money. The operation was conducted at different area hotels which cooperated with officers. Medford Police did not name those hotels.

In total, 11 men responded to the ads and came to hotel to meet women. When they arrived, they found under cover officers and were arrested for Patronizing a Prostitute, which is a misdemeanor.

The men arrested were:

Derek Sternal Lahr, 34, Grants Pass

Ryan Henry Prevedel, 39, Eagle Point

Christopher Edward Smith, 48, Ashland

Robert Samuel Lavell, 28, Medford

Iqbal “Jay” Singh Rahal, 37, Medford

Daniel Dougherty, 35, Jacksonville

Jashua Kevin Tastaca, 24, Wilderville

June Caesar Emata Balagtas, 21, Central Point

Sergio Garcia-Riquiz, 37, Medford

William Jon Courtney, 52, Medford

Kenneth Douglas Boardman, 29, Medford

Seven women also responded to the hotel to engage in sex for money. Again, they were greeted by undercover officers and were charged with Prostitution. They were not named.

According to Medford Police Department, the women are believed to be involved in organized sex trafficking from out of the area. Two men, Lafayette Toney, 35, and Anterion Dante Suggs, 29,  from California appeared to be associated with the woman. They were both arrested and charged with Promoting Prostitution.

This is a developing story. Check back with NBC5 News for updates.

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