LOS ANGELES（LASD）－In furtherance of Sheriff McDonnell’s goal to combat human trafficking throughout Los Angeles County utilizing a regionalized approach, The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Taskforce, along with officers from the Pomona Police Department, conducted a human trafficking operation in the City of Pomona, on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Undercover detectives arrested 24 adults for charges related to commercial sex offenses. The operation specifically targeted the activity on Holt Avenue, near Reservoir Street in Pomona.
Fifteen males were arrested after they solicited undercover deputies for various sex acts. Nine adult female sex workers were detained and offered victim-centered services from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) and other service providers. Two of the males arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover decoy, arrived in a car which had been reported stolen. In addition to solicitation charges, those men were also arrested for Taking a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent. Twelve vehicles were stored throughout the night.
The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force also conducted a sting operation on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in the City of La Mirada for those attempting to buy minors for the purpose of sex.
After ads were placed on websites, which commonly contain ads for sex workers, undercover deputies communicated via text and phone with potential buyers who attempted to purchase sex for money, making it clear that they were under 18. After agreeing on a lewd act in exchange for money, the suspects responded to a meeting location.
Suspects Jorge Garcia, a 40 year-old male Hispanic, Matthew Brown, a 32 year-old male White, and Jamie Rodriguez, a 36 year-old male Hispanic, were arrested after arriving to meet the underage decoys. Each defendant was subsequently charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with the felony charge of Arranging and Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Behavior. Bail was set at $75,000 for each defendant.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Human Trafficking Bureau:
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Human Trafficking Bureau houses the LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, the nation’s largest co-located human trafficking task force in the nation. The Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, county and local law enforcement, social service agency and non-government and community-based organizations investigating and serving the needs of commercially exploited adults and minors victimized for the purpose of sex and labor.
The LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force brings together systems and disciplines to address the victim’s needs through a victim centered, trauma informed approach. The task force employs a regionalized strategy that crosses jurisdictional boundaries to identify and rescue victims while aggressively pursuing traffickers and buyers.