Los Angeles: In observance of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Detective Support Vice Division-Human Trafficking Unit (DSVD-HTU), partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Innocence Lost Task Force (FBI-ILTF) and conducted a city-wide enforcement operation that focused on the rescue/recovery of children who were sexually exploited.
During the three-day operation on January 23rd through January 25th 2015, vice investigators across the city conducted undercover field operations in areas known for prostitution-related activities. The objective of the operation was to search for potential sex trafficking victims, rescue the child, and attempt to locate and arrest the pimp.
The task force consisted of support resources from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), Saving Innocence (SI), Project Destiny, and the Dream Center, who provided support and residential housing for adult sex trafficking victims. Personnel from the Los Angeles Department of Children Family Services (DCFS), Los Angeles County Department of Probation and FBI Victim Specialists also assisted in the investigations and provided resources to the recovered victims.
All recovered minors were placed in protective custody and will receive assistance and social services from DCFS and NGO’s. Adult victims were offered services and resources provided by Dream Center victim management specialists. All victims received care packages that included stuffed animals, blankets, clothing, foot wear, underwear, toiletries, personal care items and victim service provider information.
Over 130 potential human trafficking suspects and victims were taken into custody during the operation. Six pimps were arrested and nine minors,who had been trafficked for the purposes of sexual slavery, were rescued. The suspects were arrested on human trafficking-related charges that include supervising for the purposes of prostitution or on outstanding warrants.
During subsequent interviews, additional human trafficking victims were identified and some women self-disclosed that they were human trafficking victims. All identified human trafficking victims received appropriate victim services.
Anyone with information on this crime or any other crimes related to Human Trafficking, Pimping, and Pandering are asked to contact Lieutenant Andre Dawson from the LAPD Human Trafficking Unit at (213) 486-0903. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). 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 LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.