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Breaking News: Two men charged after sex trafficking sting at Desert Star hotel

According to, Jatinbhai Naresh Bhakta (29), and Roy Gene Drees (45), have been charged with the use of facilities of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

In 2015, Bhakta purchased the hotel, and began its operation. Drees was employed as a handyman and general manager on the grounds. Bhakta and Drees both lived in units in the hotel.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that the Bakersfield Police has made various prostitution-related arrests at the hotel since 2015. In 2019, a different investigation discovered that Darnell Edwards forced two minors to engage in prositution at the hotel. In November of 2019, Edwards was indicted for sex trafficking.

Earlier this month, fifteen prostitutes and three pimps were found at the hotel. Bhakta and Drees were arrested during this investigation. The men are facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Original Article:,aid%20of%20a%20racketeering%20enterprise.


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