LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s lieutenant was among 21 people arrested last week in a prostitution sting, Moreno Valley police said Tuesday.

Lieutenant Michael Strickland was arrested in the operation, conducted at a motel in the 23000 block of Sunnymead Blvd last Thursday. The 49-year-old Eastvale resident is a lieutenant at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Industry Station.

Strickland “was relieved of duty with pay as of last Thursday, and he’s been assigned to his home and stripped of all law enforcement powers,” according to L.A. County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The sting operation was conducted in response to community complaints of loitering and suspected prostitution and illegal drug activity, Moreno Valley police said.

Nineteen men and two women were arrested in total.

Four of the men were arrested for marijuana sales after offering to give undercover officers drugs to complete the solicitation transaction. Authorities said an estimated $1,500 worth of marijuana, about 5 ounces, was recovered from the suspects.

Strickland was not arrested for marijuana sales, Whitmore said.

The others arrested were cited and released, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Kent.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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