Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking operation leads to 72 arrests

A four day anti-human trafficking in Riverside County resulted in 82 arrests, the Sheriff’s Department announced on Tuesday.

The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the proactive enforcement operation that targeted online prostitution. The operation, dubbed Operation Reclaim & Rebuild, ran for four consecutive days concluding on January 30. It was part of an annual multi-agency statewide initiative that focuses on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, identifying and arresting their captors, and disrupting demand for these vulnerable victims.

Operations were held in the cities of Temecula, Hemet, Corona, Moreno Valley, and Palm Desert. Over the span of four consecutive days, task force officers placed decoy advertisements on popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of prostitution.

Officers then responded to prospective customers who replied to the advertisements. Once an agreement for prostitution was brokered, the customers were arrested upon their arrival at a pre-determined meeting location. Concurrently, other task force officers negotiated agreed upon acts of prostitution based upon other escort advertisements that were posted online in the area. In these instances, females who responded to the undercover officers posing as customers were directed to meet, at which point they too were arrested.

You can see a list of those arrested here.

During the four-day operation, task force officers made contact with an adult female believed to be a victim of sex trafficking. The initial investigation led investigators to believe this subject was being forced to engage in acts of prostitution against her will. The victim was referred to victim services for assistance as the investigation into her sex trafficking continues.