Three hundred sixty-eight people have been arrested, and 131 victims rescued in large-scale human trafficking operation by a multi-agency task force in California.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore said: “We know that the sex trade is a prolific one that exists throughout this state and throughout our nation.”
“It’s an ugly scar against this great country that exists too oftentimes in plain sight,” he added.
Operation Reclaim and Rebuild occurred between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28 in nine counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino, Kiro7 reported.
Various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies teamed up for the effort, including the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Victims of human trafficking, including ages ranging from 13 to 52, including children.
Investigators worked with victim advocacy groups to provide resources “to help [victims] escape from this life-threatening environment,” he said.
Investigators responded to advertisements offering sexual services and visited massage parlors suspected of being involved in sex trafficking.
Among those arrested included pimps and panderers, Moore said.
The victims, most of whom were kidnapped, face “threat of death” or coercion and are isolated from their former support to become dependent on the trafficker, Moore added.
Moore went on to note that “in the old days,” the victims of human traffickers were often regarded by law enforcement as criminals. However, the modern attitude has changed, as the victims are now regarded as being exploited by criminals.
Combatting a violent industry
The seven-day task force is only a part of law enforcement agencies everyday effort to combat sex trafficking, authorities said.
David Cox, COO of ZOE International, a nonprofit that helps victims, said victims are brought in from other states or countries.
Cox said his organization has cared for 489 youth victims of sex trafficking this past year, some as young as 11 years old.
“In our city, kids are being raped 20 to 30 times a day,” he said.
Meanwhile, another California based nonprofit combating human trafficking, Journey Out, cared for 256 adult victims last year, Cox said.
He said some victims of sex trafficking have been pistol-whipped, jumped out of moving vehicles to escape, gone missing, or lost their lives.
“Traffickers are master predators. They’re on the hunt for vulnerable kids and adults,” he said.
READ MORE: Human Trafficking Bust Rescues Multiple Victims, Florida AG Says ‘Worst Case’ She’s Ever Seen
something is fishy… 368 arrests with 131 victims?? i just don’t believe this really happened and if it did most of these people will walk free with charges dropped or dismissed … no real information to speak of in the article either … what were these people charged with? where were they from? locals? foreigners? organized crime? something is super fishy about this ….
Actually, Human Trafficking arrests have been on the rise significantly over the past 6 years, because the industry has been growing by leaps and bounds with the rise in use of the internet and digital communications being used to promote the illegal s*x trade industry.
You may want to consider a deep dig into studying about the topic, because it’s the fastest growing illegal trades industry in the world; even more than guns and drugs. Simply because a human can be sold dozens of times per day, as the article explains.
Don’t be naïve. It’s happening right under our noses, with the Super Bowl as the biggest event worldwide, for s*x trafficking, coming up this weekend.
Clearly by your response, it’s evident that people don’t even want to see the truth of deviant human behaviors, even when it’s slapping them in the face.
I agree with you Ann, it’s been going on for decades, we are all co-creators of this world we live in & those of us who don’t think it’s so prolific are those who don’t want to believe it or just don’t see it when it’s right in front of our faces, it’s horrendous!!
If we don’t help put it out there for all to see & hear about….it won’t be exposed, the fact that people are aware of it will help to bring the awful secrets into the open, the more you delve into it, the more truths you find.
People say…even if it’s true what can they do about it….they are just one person.
If you stay silent & can’t be bothered doing more research on it & exposing it…then no you aren’t doing anything about it. Every single one of us is responsible for the world we live in, if we look the other way we are just as much to blame for the atrocities.
When I mean we are co- creators…the people who commit these evil atrocities especially on children & those people who say nothing when they become aware of it!
That’s co-creation, let’s co-create to expose it & put a stop to it!!
I don’t want to believe it either but here we are. I remember the internet crimes against children taskforce being formed and I didn’t understand. I was naive. Now I’m not naive and see how it works and know a few who are involved. I keep my eye out at truck stops, rest areas and public places because one never knows how you could impact a child’s life my helping his problem get noticed.
800,000 children go missing in this nation every year, with Human Trafficking as the fastest growing illegal industry in the world, for purposes of labor, s*x, and organ harvesting. Yet when it’s brought to the public’s attention, the denial is so high, it’s dismissed as not being authentic.
It’s happening right under our noses, and even when it’s communicated clearly, people don’t want to accept truth.
S*xual addiction is prolific, and human trafficking is growing leaps and bounds, even more than illegal drugs and guns.
Much of the problem is that our society wants to ignore it, even when it’s slapping us in the face. How convenient for people who want only to see their existence as some sort of utopia, while others are violently raped 20-30 times per day.
Super Bowl, coming up this weekend, is the biggest event for s*x trafficking in the world. Consider that, as you eat your snacks, and drink your beer, totally oblivious, even though you read about the problem only a few days earlier.
You (and the ‘likes’ to your comment) make it clear that people’s “turning a blind eye,” is a large contributor to the problem.
Does grusomNewsom get his 10%?
I hope the release of 131 s*x slaves leads to information resulting in 10 times as many victims being released.
By the way, release the list of sexual predators enabled by Jeffrey Epstein?
Well of course something is “fishy” this is Los Angeles… the city where the only “Angels” left are those “Angel” Families.
This Administration “Biden/Who is the man behind the curtain?” are infact seeking a new voter pool from afar and lowering the voting age.
Biden, this President should be impeached for NOT upholding his oath to office to PROTECT the sovereignty of our country via land, air or sea.
[“In our city, kids are being raped 20 to 30 times a day] More FUD…fear, fear, fear… I don’t believe it…