Authorities say officers conducted the sting operation at a motel in the 23000 block of Sunnymead Boulevard last Thursday at various hours. Police had received complaints from residents that people were loitering in the area, and they suspected there was illegal drug activity and prostitution.
The sting resulted in the arrest of two women and 19 men for prostitution, including Lt. Michael Strickland of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Strickland, a 49-year-old Eastvale resident, was relieved of duty with pay since the arrest, according to sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore.
Strickland worked at the Industry Sheriff's Station, Whitmore said.
Four of the males were arrested for sales of marijuana, and about five ounces of marijuana was recovered from the operation.
"The narcotic related arrestees offered to give the undercover officers narcotics in lieu of currency to complete the negotiated solicitation payment," police said in a press release.
Police say the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Moreno Valley Police Department at (951) 247-8700.