ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
March 9, 2017
Case # 14CF2383
FULLERTON, Calif. – A San Bernadino man was convicted yesterday of human trafficking, pimping, and pandering of several women. Ronald Preston Spurlock, 38, Grand Terrace, was found guilty by a jury on March 8, 2017, of two felony counts of human trafficking, four felony counts of pimping, eight felony counts of pandering, and one felony count of conspiring to dissuade a witness. Spurlock also pleaded guilty on Feb. 27, 2017, to one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 34 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his sentencing on June 16, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-11, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Circumstances of the Case
Spurlock is a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in physical and/or emotional abuse.
Prior to April 2014, Spurlock recruited several victims to engage in commercial sex for his benefit in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. The defendant posted sexually explicit advertisements of several of the victims on websites known for soliciting commercial sex. Spurlock set a quota of $1000 a day and kept the money the victims received from sex purchasers for himself. The defendant told multiple victims that he was watching them at all times and required them to check in with him regularly.
In July 2011, Spurlock made several calls from Orange County Jail in order to dissuade a victim, Jane Doe 1, from testifying against him. The defendant isolated the victim and prevented her from seeing her family without permission.
In April 2014, Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) began investigating Spurlock for an unrelated matter. NBPD conducted surveillance of the defendant and Jane Doe 1, at an apartment complex in Santa Ana. Spurlock and the victim drove vehicles registered in the defendant’s name. On several occasions between April 2014 and May 2014, the officers observe Jane Doe 1 and two other victims at a hotel in Costa Mesa known for prostitution. The rooms were often registered under Jane Doe 1.
Between April and June 2014, NBPD officers discovered several sexually explicit advertisements online of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 soliciting commercial sex
On July 9, 2014, NBPD contacted the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and conducted multiple joint undercover operations that resulted in contact being made with Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3. Officers also observed the victims making contact with several sex purchasers.
On July 17, 2014, Spurlock was contacted and arrested by NBPD officers near the apartment complex in Santa Ana and Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3 were contacted at the hotel in Santa Ana by OCHTTF officers. During their investigation, NBPD officers discovered text messages containing language consistent with the defendant pimping the victims, other evidence of pimping and pandering, two firearms, and over $14,000 in cash in Spurlock’s apartment. Spurlock beat Jane Doe 1 and another victim, Jane Doe 7, on several occasions and pimped and pandered several more victims. On one occasion, the defendant met up with Jane Doe 7 in Las Vegas and drove the victim outside of the city and beat her because he thought she was seeing other clients without his permission.
NBPD and the OCHTTF investigated this case.
Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Irvine Police Department, NBPD, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden, Spokesperson