We need more of this. Hopefully this trend continues until this mess is cleaned up. Peace.
A statewide human trafficking sting has resulted in the rescue of 56 people, including 11 girls, officials said Tuesday.
The three-day sweep known as Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was part of an ongoing effort led by the Los Angeles County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, a collection of federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies and social service and community-based organizations.
The crackdown led to more than 500 arrests, including 30 suspected traffickers and 178 alleged johns, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
“Teams from throughout California have joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to come down hard on business as usual for the pimps, exploiters and those who believe that it’s acceptable to buy another human being for sexual purposes,” McDonnell said. “The message we hope to send to the traffickers is: Don’t do business in Los Angeles County or the state of California, because we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Children between 12 and 14 are most at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking in California, officials said. Many come from broken families and foster care and are seeking love and acceptance.
“The pimps know who to look for,” said sheriff’s Lt. Kent Wegener. “They know who is able to be exploited … who is easy to manipulate.”
Once the victim is under their power, traffickers typically control what they eat, where they sleep, who they see and where they live.
“If they don’t do exactly what the pimp wants, they are met with violence,” Wegener said.
Last year, roughly 200 human trafficking cases were filed by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.