‚Äč TASK FORCE Force Rescues

14-year-old Female


Deshawn 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 interview.

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