Category: California

Man sentenced to 14 years for sex trafficking, drug distribution to minor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Chico man to 14 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor and distribution of meth to a person under 21, according to the U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott. According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial, in July and August 2017, 25-year-old Christopher Ramonaguilar Lawrence, of Chico, recruited a then 17-year-old girl to engage in prostitution for his financial benefit.

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13 arrested in Redlands undercover prostitution sting

San Bernardino County, California– An undercover sting in which police posed as prostitutes at a Redlands hotel to bust “Johns” who solicited sex for money on Wednesday netted 13 suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 63, officials said. San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force investigators conducted what they called an “in-call hotel ‘John’ operation,” the department said in a written statement. “During the operation, undercover officers were deployed at a local hotel to pose as prostitutes through online advertisements,” according to the statement. Online ads are a primary tool for those involved in the human trafficking of underage victims, officials added.

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SLO County officials encourage parents to be aware of commercial sexual exploitation of children

San Luis Obispo County officials are encouraging parents and families to be wary of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) as children are spending more time out of the classroom and on the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Linda Belch, adult and children’s services deputy director, says it is important for families to have open, regular conversations with children about the importance of cyber safety.

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Alleged Vallejo human trafficking victim rescued, two arrested

A day after a 29-year-old Vallejo resident was reported missing Solano County sheriff’s deputies rescued the woman, said to have been a victim of human trafficking.
The woman’s mother filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, saying she’d been missing for a week.
On Wednesday, investigators learned she was a victim of human trafficking, officials said.
Her image was reportedly posted on a human trafficking website. In partnership with Vacaville police detectives, and FBI task force officer, sheriff’s resident deputy and the Sheriff’s Enforcement Team, investigators managed to contact the woman and set up a meeting.

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Commentary: Frontline Healers See Human Trafficking Increase Since Coronavirus Pandemic

“With closed businesses and empty streets, exploiters have become more violent and expanded their territory,” explains Amba Johnson, executive director of Dreamcatchers. “The ones coming to buy children are oddly indifferent to COVID, asking their victims if they have hand sanitizer and masks. The problem is Johns don’t care if they are children.”

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Human traffickers still coming to the Central Coast amidst pandemic, officials say

“Traffickers notoriously prey upon the vulnerability of other people. So if you have a group of people who are now even more vulnerable and are looking to make income, secure their future, and are looking to find some type of normalization; they might be more susceptible to offers or lies or tactics traffickers use to gain that person’s trust only to exploit it later for a profit,” explained Danielle Borrelli, Operations Coordinator for the California Cybersecurity Institute.

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L.A. County Fights Child Sex Trafficking, Hopes Lessons Are Adopted Broadly

“As we move forward to take our next steps to better identify and support youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation, I hope agencies across the country can apply the lessons learned by L.A. County and apply them during this COVID-19 era and provide victims the services and ongoing support that they need,” said Michelle Guymon, who founded and leads the CTU.

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Northstate trafficking ring taken down by APD and local law enforcement, arrests made

In Anderson, California law enforcement officers have been in a year-long investigation into Northstate massage parlors. Two men have been arrested with 58 felony counts. Last year, a citizen of Anderson reported unusual behavior. The tip led to find a human trafficking ring across three Northstate counties. Anderson police said their goal was to target the traffickers and save and rescue the woman.

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Anti-Trafficking Coalition at Berkeley holds conference on combating human trafficking

The coalition aims to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Berkeley community and invited T Ortiz, one of Time Magazine’s 2013 “30 Under 30” nominees, as a keynote speaker to discuss the issue of human trafficking. Ortiz, who was a victim of trafficking herself, said society needs to realize that victims do not need pity; instead, victims need to be supported in many ways.
“We are talking about our girls,” Alejandre said at the event. “They are people too and they are not just defined by their trafficking experience.”

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Trafficking Uptick

In Sonoma County, California there has been an increased public outreach over the past decade to raise awareness about human trafficking. The executive director of Verity, which is a Sonoma County nonprofit offers services and support to trafficking victims and sometimes coordinates with law-enforcement agencies conducting enforcement operations said “”Human trafficking happens every single day in Sonoma County”. People think it isn’t a problem here, they think it’s a problem that happens in other places of the world. Drug dealing is the largest crime, human trafficking is number two and is more difficult to enforce. With the human trafficking industry growing rapidly, agencies and organizations are partnering up to stop this.

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North Bay runaway teen turns up in Oakland, 32-year-old man charged with trafficking her

Kevin Fuqua, who authorities wrote goes by the nickname “Knote,” was pimping a teen girl who had run away from her home in Solano County, CA. Investigators say they uncovered text messages that indicate Fuqua was physically abusing the girl. Fuqua knew the girl was underage — having attended her 17th birthday months before the arrest — and forced her to walk areas known for prostitution until she made $500 per night.

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Porn Producers Accused of Fooling Women Get Sex Trafficking Charges

The owners, Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, and two employees, Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, and Valorie Moser, 37, of two popular pornographic websites were charged this week in San Diego, CA with sex trafficking and other crimes. Using “deception and false promises” they lured women who had answered modeling advertisements on Craigslist to participate in sex videos that were posted on the internet.

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Man sentenced 9 years after Camarillo sex-trafficking case

James Arthur Powell, 32, of Sacramento, California, had pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking a minor, pimping and pandering. In addition to the prison sentence, Powell will have to register as a sex offender. Through an investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, it was found that Powell was trafficking the victims from Sacramento to Los Angeles and Ventura counties to engage in commercial sex activities.

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Pomona Police Rescue 3rd Teenage Human Trafficking Victim in 2 Weeks

Pomona, CA police working to combat human trafficking and prostitution in their city rescued the third teenage human trafficking victim in the past two weeks on Friday. “Upon further investigation, officers discovered that the female was actually a 17-year-old minor who had been the victim of human trafficking since the age of 15 years old,” the Pomona Police Department said in a written statement.

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YouTube rapper arrested in human trafficking case as police seek more victims

Angel Ortiz Diamond, 31, who goes by the name Benjiboy Staccs of Orange County, CA. was charged with one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering after getting a tip from a relative of the 18-year-old victim. Officials said Diamond posted videos to YouTube “with songs glorifying the pimping subculture.” He used social media to meet young women in clubs and lure them into sex-related work.

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18 arrested for seeking sex with kids under age 14

A collaborative law enforcement operation between Lathrop Police Services, the San Joaquin County, CA. Sheriff’s Office and the Manteca Police Department back in February yielded nine arrests of people attempting to engage in sexual contact with a minor less than 14 years of age. Ages of suspects range from 12 yrs old to 61 yrs old.

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3 Teen Human Trafficking Victims Rescued, Suspected Pimp Arrested in Santa Ana

Detectives in Santa Ana, CA. located 21 year old Malik Malveaux’s vehicle parked outside a local motel. They then found him inside a room there along with two other underage human trafficking victims, ages 13 and 15, according to police. Malveaux was arrested and booked on suspicion of human trafficking of a minor, pimping of a minor and pandering of a minor, authorities said.

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Former MPD probationary officer charged with sexual exploitation of a minor in California

Andrew Hellums asked the child in California to perform sex acts to be photographed and sent to him, police say. She sent him multiple photos of herself engaging in sexual acts or poses, according to court documents. also sent photos of both his face and genitals to the child on multiple occasions. When the child’s father discovered the conversations on a mobile device, he contacted a California police.

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48 human trafficking victims rescued, more than 300 suspects arrested in CA sting

Authorities involved in a 3-day human trafficking sting operation rescued almost 50 victims across California, including 14 minors, some as young as 13. Law enforcement officials with “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” announced Tuesday they made 339 arrests in the 3-day operation, which involved 93 human trafficking task forces throughout the state. The National Human Trafficking Hotline says 8,524 cases of human trafficking were reported nationwide in 2017. Of those, 1,305 were in California.

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District Attorney hails $3 million grant to schools to fight human trafficking

Public schools in San Diego County will soon be playing a much bigger role in keeping students safe. Their focus is on protecting children from human traffickers. UBS Optimus Foundation, associated with UBS, a global financial services company is providing a $3 million grant to a new group called the San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective. The goal of the Collective is to reach students through three programs that emphasize education, empowerment and intervention.

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City Attorney Mara W. Elliott highlights services for human trafficking victims Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Column City Attorney Mara W Elliott highlights services for human trafficking victims

At $800 million annually, sex trafficking is second only to drug trafficking among underground economies in San Diego County, CA. They didn’t enter this nightmare with open eyes. More likely, they were lured into the life with promises of love, protection, adventure, or opportunity.

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Mountain View siblings arrested, suspected of human trafficking

Police in Mountain View, CA. have arrested a brother and sister suspected of bringing Guatemalan families and minors to the United States and subjecting them to forced labor and sexual slavery. Carlos Garza, 33, and Evelia De Maria Galvez, 41, were arrested on Dec. 20 without incident. Garza is suspected of multiple counts of human trafficking and Galvez is suspected of being an accessory to a crime and intimidating a victim.

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Saved In America: A look at human trafficking in the U.S.

This week, an eye-opening look at the startling scope of Human Trafficking right here in the US. It’s on the rise. Young girls are groomed and lured by drug cartel-connected thugs then sold as a product to be owned.Experts say it’s happening in every state— even in quiet towns where you wouldn’t expect it. That’s where an eclectic group of former police and Navy SEALS comes in.

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Trafficking survivor helps put formerly incarcerated on path to higher education

“Many of our clients have been charged with crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, or that their traffickers committed,” said San Diego attorney Jamie Quient, who started Free to Thrive last year. “They rarely speak up at the time for many reasons. Among them, they would rather serve time than cross their traffickers. They also don’t think they will be believed if they do speak up. As a result, society labels these victims as criminals.”

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Sex trafficking derailed their lives, but a survivor puts women back on track

Susan Munsey’s mission to help victims of sex trafficking in the US is a personal one. When she was 15, growing up in Los Angeles, Munsey started dating a man she thought was the real deal. “I’d never had a boyfriend before. He gave me compliments. He was charming. He took me out to eat,” she recalled. “I was insecure and didn’t have a lot of self-esteem. … And here I had this 24-year-old boyfriend. Wasn’t I something special?” Then he started abusing her. He forced her to sell her body. Months later, she was arrested for prostitution.

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