474 people were arrested in California when police busted an entire human trafficking ring, freeing 55 children and adults who had been victims. According to KTLA, the effort was a collaboration between over 30 federal, state, and local authorities.
"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," reads a joint statement made by the handful of agencies, including the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force. "Police agencies and other trafficking task forces throughout our state joined in the enforcement operation to send the clear message that California law enforcement shares a unified mandate: Human trafficking must not be tolerated in our state!"
The operation took place over the course of three days. Of the almost 500 arrested: 142 were males on solicitation charges, and another 36 were males on suspicion of pimping; 27 of those freed were children, while 28 were adults.
“You are worthy of more. And we will work tirelessly with our partners … to provide you services and help you rebuild your life,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said, addressing the victims during a news conference on Tuesday.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]