February 20, 2021

USA: 518 People Arrested In California Statewide Sting Operation Targeting Human Traffickers. Criminal Street Gangs Are Trafficking People For Profit, More Lucrative Than Trafficking Drugs.

LA CityView35 published February 4, 2021: LAPD Operation Reclaim and Rebuild Press Conference 2/4/21. Listen to the victim encounters by undercover agents.

Los Angeles Daily News
written by Robert Gundran
Friday February 5, 2021

An operation to fight human trafficking in California resulted in the arrests of over 500 people last week.

Agencies from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties participated in the effort, formally known as “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild,” which was conducted between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the operation focused on rescuing victims of human trafficking, and providing them with services. The operation also went after people suspected of doing the trafficking, as well as customers of prostitution and human trafficking.

Villanueva said there were 518 arrests statewide for various crimes. Among those arrested were 27 suspected “human traffickers and exploiters” and 266 customers.

Investigators rescued 76 adults and 11 children from the human traffickers, Villanueva said. Federal, state and local agencies participated in the operation.

“Operations were conducted throughout the county and specifically within the cities of San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Hesperia and Victorville,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a press release on Tuesday.

Pomona police noted that officers from its Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team and officers from the Azusa Police Department worked together and arrested four women and three men on suspicion of prostitution-related crimes.

The operation stretched across Southern California, and the Corona Police Department was among the participating agencies. The Corona Police operation was conducted on Jan. 28 at a local motel. Nine men and three women were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution, with everyone transported to the Riverside County Jail afterwards.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said it arrested over 70 people on suspicion of prostitution-related crimes. The arrests were made in Temecula, Hemet, Corona, Moreno Valley and Palm Desert. Those arrested were between 19- and 66-years-old.

The Huntington Beach Police Department said its Special Investigation Bureau participated in the operation and arrested one man on suspicion of pimping and pandering.

“Detectives also identified and provided assistance to multiple victims of commercial sex trafficking,” Huntington Beach police said.

Authorities said the operation was planned in Los Angeles, with detectives from over 200 federal, state and municipal law enforcement agencies in attendance.

Victims that were found by law enforcement were taken to various victim service providers in each county.

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