Peterson, arrested for
Human Trafficking of a Minor
San Bernardino County Sheriff - Human
Trafficking Task Force
Thursday, August 20, 2020, at approximately 8:00 P.M., San Bernardino
County Human Trafficking Task Force began an investigation after locating
an on-line advertisement depicting a possible juvenile female, being advertised
for prostitution. Investigators initiated an undercover operation to locate and
contact the victim. During the investigation, Task Force members were able to
establish the victim's location at a motel room near the 1800 Block of G Street
in Ontario, California.
Surveillance was conducted at the location and a female fitting the
description of the victim was seen. Believing she was the victim, investigators-initiated
contact and positively identified her as the 14-year old victim. Just prior to
contacting the victim, she was seen in the presence of a lone male, near a
vehicle in the parking lot of the location.
Believing the male may be involved in exploiting the victim,
investigators and uniformed Ontario Police Officers, simultaneously contacted
him. The male, identified as Deshawn Peterson, was detained and questioned.
During contact with Peterson, investigators learned he was familiar with the
victim and had been in her company for the past several days. Peterson and the
victim were transported to the Ontario Police Department for additional
During their interview with the victim, investigators discovered she was
a listed missing/runaway juvenile from the Los Angeles area. The victim was
rescued, provided access to services and support organizations, and then safely
released to Los Angeles social services.
During the interview with the suspect Peterson, investigators discovered
information supporting his involvement in the commercialized sexual
exploitation of the juvenile victim. The suspect was taken into custody and
booked at West Valley Detention Center for Felony Human Trafficking of a Minor.
Peterson is currently being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Additionally,
investigators discovered that Peterson is currently on active felony probation
out of Los Angeles county, for charges related to narcotics offenses.
The San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force is
made up of investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, San
Bernardino County District Attorney's Office, Ontario Police Department,
Redlands Police Department, California State Parole, Office of Homeland
Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This investigation is ongoing. SBCSD Investigators believe there are
other unidentified victims related to this case and are asking that anyone with
information related to this investigation, please contact the San Bernardino
County Human Trafficking Task Force at (909)387-8400
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or you may leave information on the WE-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com
JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department
SBCSD - Headquarters
655 E 3rd Street
San Bernardino, CA 92408