WEST LINN, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was busted Tuesday for allegedly responding to an escort ad posted by a local police training class for human trafficking.
Investigators with West Linn Police Dept. posted the fake ad on escort-related websites during class. Customers looking to hire the fictitious 19-year-old described online called the phone number listed as officers continued teaching, police said.
“It got to be kind of humorous, the number of calls we got ,” Sgt. Mike Francis said. “We had to pause the class.”
One of the callers, Rene Cruz Mesa of Woodburn, agreed to meet with the woman for a “tryst”, according to police. He spoke with an investigator posing as the 19-year-old, who told him to meet her at the address for West Linn Police Department.
Cruz Mesa organized the meetup while on speakerphone in front of the entire class.
“The whole time he’s on the phone with the decoy, letting her know what kind of vehicle he’s in, giving basically a description of himself,” Sgt. Francis said.
He was met by police upon his arrival and cited and released for prostitution.
“It’s not everyday that somebody decides they’re going to engage in prostitution and makes it all the way to the police department,” Sgt. Francis said.
KOIN 6 News spoke with Cruz Mesa about the incident later Tuesday night. He claims he was just looking for a massage over lunch. He says he has a family and worries that telling his wife and kids about the situation may cause problems later on.
He admits that he made a bad decision.