LOS ANGELES — Authorities say a statewide operation to fight human trafficking in California has ended with 450 arrests and the rescue of dozens of victims, including children.
“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” involved 100 federal, state and local law enforcement agents conducting a week-long effort that ended on Monday.
At a Los Angeles news conference Thursday, authorities say they rescued 39 victims statewide, including 13 children. One of them was a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing from Nevada. Authorities say she was found after San Luis Obispo County investigators arranged a meeting through an online sex ad. Her alleged trafficker was captured.
"The goal of the operation was simply to rescue and recover victims of human trafficking and to arrest their traffickers or individuals who have exploited them,'' LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher said at Thursday's press conference.
More than 60 of those arrests were made in Northern California alone during the two-day operation in late January.
Several local agencies were a part of the operation, which was hosted by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office. Thirteen of the arrests were made by Turlock Police. One such arrest was made when a suspect solicited an undercover officer for sex, investigators said.
Details and breakdown of where the arrests were made have not been released nor have names and mugshots of the people arrested.