Human Trafficking Suspects Use Social Media to Lure Victims NR14299jm

August 6, 2014

Los Angeles:  In July, 2014 the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Human Trafficking Unit, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Innocence Lost Task Force, concluded a five-month comprehensive multi-jurisdictional human trafficking investigation.

On July 24, 2014, Juan Carlos Cruz Lopez appeared in the Superior Court of Los Angeles and was formally arraigned on charges of Pimping and Pandering an 18-year-old female victim.  In June 2014 his co-defendant, Robert Stacy Beverly, was arraigned on the same charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  Both defendants are currently in custody pending a preliminary hearing.

During the five-month investigation, detectives utilized investigative resources that led them to believe that defendants employed social media websites to lure the victim into commercial sexual exploitation.  The defendants encouraged, facilitated, and benefitted from the sexual exploitation of the victim in the Los Angeles area and possibly other states.

Information discovered during the investigation suggests that there may be additional victims that had contact with Beverly and Cruz Lopez on various social media websites for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.   Beverly and Cruz Lopez may have had contact with potential victims in California, Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, and Hawaii.  The LAPD would like your help in locating these possible victims.

Anyone with information regarding additional victims, this crime or other crimes related to Human Trafficking, Pimping, and Pandering are asked to contact Lieutenant Andre Dawson, Detective Support and Vice Division 213-486-0910 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS 800-222-8477.  Tipsters may remain anonymous.  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.