SACRAMENTO, CA - Three women and the manager of a North Highlands motel were arrested Tuesday afternoon as Sacramento County sheriff's deputies swept down on the motel, long considered to be a haven for prostitution, authorities said.
The raid at the Great Value Inn came after months of attempts to work with hotel ownership to clean up the long-suspected prostitution operation at the Watt Avenue motel, Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Kate Adams said.
Three women were taken into custody during Tuesday's sting. Adams said many of the women involved in prostitution at the Great Value are actually girls.
"Unfortunately, what we're noticing is a lot of underage girls. We're talking about juveniles, 14, 15 years old, that are being prostituted out of this inn by pimps who are much older, men in their 30s," Adams said.
As he was being arrested, manager Ranil "Ron" Barma, 26, told reporters that managers there often ask the prostitutes and pimps to leave.
"We make them (leave). We tell them (to leave) or else we're going to call the sheriff," Barma said. "We have a hard time getting the sheriff out here sometimes."
But Adams said undercover officers taping the action at the Great Value Inn can prove Barma and other motel supervisors were cordial, even friendly, with the illicit activity.
"(Barma) speaks with them, laughs with them, and so, in my mind, encourages the behavior," Adams said.
Nearby residents said they were tired of prostitutes openly soliciting business as they drive by. "It draws crime. It draws drugs. It draws a lot of losers. You know, if you want to have a whorehouse, go up to Reno and go up to Mustang Ranch. Don't have it here at Watt and Longevity in Sacramento," said Shane Tiller, a long-time local contractor who resents the activity so close by.
Adams said if deputies don't start getting cooperation from Great Value owner Manhar Patel, the next step would be a civil nuisance action that could shut down the motel permanently.