539 Arrested in Human Trafficking Operation, 54 Adults and 11 Juveniles Rescued
The 10th annual Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, which took place between January 21 and January 27, 2024, was a successful joint effort involving over 95 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force.
This year’s operation resulted in the arrest of 539 individuals, including 40 suspected “sexual traffickers or exploiters” and 271 suspected “sex buyers.” Authorities also rescued 54 adults and 11 juveniles, including a 14-year-old girl. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, who was present at a press conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown LA last Tuesday, announced these impressive results.
Sheriff Luna emphasized the importance of this operation, stating, “Human trafficking and child exploitation are devastating crimes that prey on some of the most vulnerable members of our community.” He further highlighted the consequences for those who engage in such activities, asserting that “there is no refuge for predators in the state of California.”
The operation included a successful undercover operation on a stretch of Holt Avenue in Pomona, where 12 men were arrested, two of whom are registered sex offenders. All were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution.
Luna shared a story from San Diego County where a 17-year-old girl was approached by a man at the Parkway Plaza Mall in El Cajon. The man told her she “should be a model” and gave her a business card with a phone number on it. When she called the number, she was informed that she would be doing “date sex with guys at hotels,” prompting her to tell her mother, who then contacted the authorities. The suspect was subsequently arrested on suspicion of human trafficking a minor and other offenses.
Initiatives such as Operation Reclaim and Rebuild are important in combating the exploitation of our most vulnerable members. The operation serves as a reminder that we must remain vigilant and united in our efforts to protect our communities and uphold the values that define us as a society.
In conclusion, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild serves as a shining example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens come together in pursuit of a common goal. Hopefully, this annual operation will continue to grow in scope and effectiveness, bringing us closer to a world where human trafficking and child exploitation are eradicated once and for all.