Men, Woman Charged with Sex Trafficking in Massive West Coast Investigation

28 Juillet, 2017, 11:41 | Author: Lucrece Courtet
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim Mc Donnell discusses a massive West Coast sex trafficking ring during a news conference on Thursday

Investigators found apartment units were being rented and used as brothels in more than a dozen communities, including in Chatsworth, Burbank, West Hollywood and Las Vegas.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell says this investigation was spurred after a girl went missing in Tulare county. Brown, 30, and Turner, 32, are now in custody, while McNeil is still at large. Deputies found the missing girl, but also discovered a female adult and another adult who was on parole, and the call led to the discovery of the alleged sex trafficking operation, McDonnell said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the sheriffs of Los Angeles and Tulare counties, announced on Thursday the filing of 54 felony charges against three individuals involved in one of the largest human sex trafficking cases on the West Coast. Because of the connection to Central California, detectives contacted the Tulare County Sheriff's Department about the case, and that agency was able to identify more victims. The girls were as young as 15 years old, according to McDonnell. Quinton Brown III, 30, of Highland, is charged with 41 felony counts ranging from human trafficking of minors to pimping.

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"These charges stem from the hard work of the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the California Department of Justice attorneys and special agents". Investigators said she used stolen credit information to lease the cars so the traffickers could move the victims throughout the state.

Criminals often lure young girls into a criminal network through coercion, threats, being drugged or raped, or "any number of things to basically psychologically control them", McDonnell said.

"It's tempting to think of trafficking as something that doesn't happen here in our own backyard", Becerra said. The Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux had this strong warning for parents when it comes to your children's internet usage: "Be vigilant". These are the most vulnerable victims. But he implored parents to watch their children carefully, especially while they are on their mobile phones. Sheriff Boudreaux said the investigation is ongoing but he did reveal traffickers spend months looking for and grooming local children online. "Social networking is an environment for predators to prey on and exploit the innocence of our children".

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