Posted BY: Jasmine | NwoReport
Three hundred sixty-eight people have been arrested, and 131 victims rescued in a large-scale human trafficking operation by a multi-agency task force in California.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore said: “We know that the sex trade is a prolific one that exists throughout this state and throughout our nation.”
“It’s an ugly scar against this great country that exists too oftentimes in plain sight,” he added.
Operation Reclaim and Rebuild occurred between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28 in nine counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino, Kiro7 reported.
Various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies teamed up for the effort, including the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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Victims of human trafficking, including ages ranging from 13 to 52, including children.
Investigators worked with victim advocacy groups to provide resources “to help [victims] escape from this life-threatening environment,” he said.
Investigators responded to advertisements offering sexual services and visited massage parlors suspected of being involved in sex trafficking.
Among those arrested included pimps and panderers, Moore said.
The victims, most of whom were kidnapped, face “threat of death” or coercion and are isolated from their former support to become dependent on the trafficker, Moore added.
Moore went on to note that “in the old days,” the victims of human traffickers were often regarded by law enforcement as criminals. However, the modern attitude has changed, as the victims are now regarded as being exploited by criminals.