3-Day Human Trafficking Task Force “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” Arrests 474 Suspects
LOS ANGELES – A coordinated law enforcement statewide sweep arrested 474 suspects when more than 30 participating federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces from across California took part during Human Trafficking Awareness Month’s “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild.”
The third annual three-day (January 26th-28th) operation conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force took aim at human traffickers.
According to Lieutenant Kent Wegener of the Human Trafficking Bureau and Deputy Lillian Peck, Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced the details and successes of the enforcement collaboration conducted in various mediums at Tuesday’s press conference at the downtown L.A. Hall of Justice.
“Twenty-eight commercially, sexually exploited children and 27 adult victims were recovered, 142 males were arrested for the charge of solicitation, and 36 males were arrested for pimping. In total, 474 arrests were made.”
Sheriff McDonnell outlined the mission’s goals of eradicating this illegal human tragedy, then pointedly addressed the traffickers and johns who conduct business in L.A. County and the state — to remind them of the gravity of their crimes and the prosecution to accompany their actions.
To the victims, he assured, “You are worthy of more. We will work tirelessly with our partners […] to provide you services and help you rebuild your life.”
“It is our job in law enforcement to protect children – all children – especially those who have fallen prey to adults who seek to profit from their bodies,” D.A. Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “We will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of children by anyone – not the sex traffickers and not the people who pay to sexually assault them.”
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Macias said, “Our goal in this unprecedented collaborative enforcement effort was two-fold. First, to provide vital services to any sex trafficking victims we encountered, so they can begin to reclaim and rebuild their lives. Second, to start the process to reclaim and rebuild the neighborhoods that have been degraded by organized prostitution schemes which not only exploit the vulnerable, but also often draw other criminal enterprises into the area.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind the public of the dangers of posting “nude selfies”. See Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s open letter on posting nude selfies.