Los Angeles area cops busted about 500 suspects in a crackdown on human trafficking in California.
A task force consisting of approximately 50 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security and the FBI participated in “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” over three days at the end of January; a sting which also rescued 28 children as well as 27 adults forced into prostitution by the bad guys.
January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month as designated by the Obama administration.
Of the nearly 500 suspects taken into custody, about 140 men face solicitation charges while 36 others were detained for alleged pimping. (RELATED: Read more news about pure evil at EVIL.news)
According to a statement from the office of Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell about the effort carried out by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild focused on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, providing victims with much-needed services, identifying and arresting their captors, seeking successful prosecutions, and disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers.”
In the mass sweep, cops concentrated their efforts on both street prostitution as well as online impropriety. “Detectives conducted ‘john’ stings to target men and women involved in prostitution and posed online as juveniles to go after pedophiles,” the Los Angeles Times explained.
The rescued minors are currently under the care of family services agencies and foster care groups who will help them reorient into a normal life as non-governmental victim service organizations will do with the adults who were rescued.
Based only on calls and emails into the National Human Traffic Hotline, California has the unfortunate distinction of the U.S. state with the most reported human trafficking cases (1,323 in 2016). Texas is next with 670. Sex trafficking by far is the most common form of human trafficking across all states, and females comprise the vast majority of human trafficking victims, the Hotline statistics also indicate.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF estimates that human trafficking has victimized 21 million people around the world, including 5.5 million children who are exploited for sex work and in other forced labor scenarios such as sweatshops. There are 1.5 million victims of human trafficking in the U.S. alone. Global human trafficking generates profits in the range of $32 billion for criminals, UNICEF added.
Reacting to Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, the L.A. County district attorney declared that “We will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of children by anyone, not the sex traffickers and not the people who pay to sexually assault them.”
“We let everybody know throughout the state that … we’re going to aggressively go after the pimps and the exploiters, as well as the johns and especially the johns that think that they can prey on the minors,” added an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department official.