Californication: 510 suspects arrested in statewide human trafficking sweep

by WorldTribune Staff, February 1, 2018

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from 85 federal, state and local agencies, carried out a statewide crackdown on human trafficking last week that resulted in 510 arrests.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies make an arrest as part of a statewide human trafficking operation. / L.A. Sheriff’s Department photo

The operation also rescued 56 female trafficking victims, KTLA TV reported.

During a Jan. 30 news conference, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell described the operation as a “three-day assault on one of the most heinous crimes of modern times: the sexual exploitation of another human being for profit.”

Of the 510 arrested, McDonnell said 30 were men suspected of human trafficking, 178 were “so-called Johns,” and others were suspected of “Internet crimes against children” and other unspecified offenses.

Related: Unreported: 1,500 pedophile arrests made nationally since Trump took office, February 26, 2017

“We will never stop coming after you, arresting you, prosecuting you and throwing you in jail,” McDonnell said.

Of the 56 victims rescued, 11 were juveniles.

McDonnell said human trafficking has become more lucrative in the U.S. because the Internet makes the crimes relatively low risk.

Since the “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” raids began in November 2015, McDonnell said more than 200 victims have been rescued, including 157 children. Another 948 people have been arrested: 274 on suspicion of buying sex, 375 on suspicion of trafficking-related offenses, 146 for Internet crimes against children and the rest for miscellaneous other crimes.

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