Photo: Charles Sanford
Ontario – A human trafficker was recently put behind bars after a victim managed to flee and outed him to police.
The victim, a 19-year-old female from Las Vegas, Nevada, contacted Ontario police, reporting that she had been trafficked by a man over a period of four months within Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Los Angeles County, in addition to Las Vegas.
She identified the trafficker as a 31-year-old male resident of Ontario named Charles Sanford, a suspect already known to police. Sanford had “used force and fear upon [the victim] to gain her cooperation while involved in prostitution on his behalf, and he was known to carry a firearm on his person,” reports John McMahon, San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner.
Nevertheless, the victim managed to escape earlier that day from the place Sanford and his captives were staying, a residence in the 900 Block of W. Granada Court. Ontario police requested assistance from San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force for further action.
The victim shared with officers that Sanford was trafficking another woman who was with him at the home, a 23-year-old female from Pasadena.
After several hours of Task Force and police officer surveillance at the reported location, they spotted two people who matched descriptions of the suspect and the second victim as they left the residence. Officers approached the two, and Sanford immediately bolted back toward the residence, entering before officers were able to detain him.
“Due to Sanford’s refusal to exit the residence and surrender, the possibility he was armed with a weapon and the presence of small children inside the residence, Ontario officers deployed a tactical vehicle equipped with a loudspeaker,” McMahon says.
After an hour of commanding Sanford to come out, the man finally emerged, resigned to his fate. Police arrested him without any further struggle and transported both him and the female victim to the Ontario Police Department. Sanford was found to have “multiple active and outstanding warrants for his arrest issued out of San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, one for being a felon in possession of a firearm.” He was charged with pimping, pandering, and human trafficking of an adult.
Further investigation revealed “evidence supporting Human Trafficking allegations,” as well as a second residence that Sanford used for his purposes, located in Victorville.
Investigators believe there are additional victims associated with this case. If you have any additional information that could be useful, please contact the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force at (909)387-8400. If you desire to remain anonymous, please contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or leave information on the WE-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.