Twenty-eight people were arrested and a 16-year-old Texas female was rescued during a human trafficking sting operation in Compton, California, KCBS-TV reported.
According to the Los Angeles County website, Los Angeles is a major hub for human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery that uses force, fraud, or coercion in selling sex or in obtaining a form of labor.
What were the charges?
Authorities arrested 12 men for allegedly soliciting undercover deputies for various sex acts.
Also, 11 women were arrested on suspicion of loitering for the purposes of prostitution. Three women were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution after they solicited sex for money from undercover sheriff’s detectives, reports state.
Three adults who were identified as victims of human trafficking agreed to accept services from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Three more victims accepted help from the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. The others were booked at the Century Regional Detention Facility, reports state.
The 16-year-old girl was first trafficked in Houston and subsequently was sent to work in Southern California. She was taken into custody while on Long Beach Boulevard. With assistance from the FBI, she was reunited with her parents in Houston.
Two of the males arrested are still in custody.
Juan Carlos Perez Rivas, 37, of Fullerton, was arrested on suspicion of traveling to meet a minor for lewd purposes. He allegedly solicited an undercover sheriff’s deputy who was posing as a young girl on a social media site. Rivas is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Major Louis Starling, 33, of Pasadena, was arrested on suspicion of pandering. He allegedly tried to recruit an undercover sheriff’s deputy as a sex worker and is being held at the CRDF. Bail was set at $35,000.
The regional task force include members of the FBI, District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Unified School Police and Homeland Security Investigations.
In May, 27 people were arrested and two female teenage sex trafficking victims, were rescued during a joint law enforcement operation in Compton, California.
In January, a statewide operation resulted in 510 arrests, and more than 50 adult and juvenile females were also rescued.
“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was a three-day assault on one of the most heinous crimes of modern times: The sexual exploitation of another human being for profit,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said at the time.