FRESNO – The Department of Homeland Security partnered with local law enforcement in conducting a multi-day sting whose purpose was to fight child sexual exploitation in Fresno.
The effort, dubbed “Operation Stolen Hearts,” focused on arresting those who offer to pay for sex with minors, as wlel as those who traffick them.
Detectives used internet sites as the platform to discover those seeking for illicit sex. Some of the arrests included those for charges of “contacting a minor with intent to commit a sex offense, aiding prostitution, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes and solicitation of acts of prostitution.”
In all, eleven misdemeanors and ten felony arrests resulted from the operation. Ten women and girsl were snatched from the sex trafficking trade.
“The Fresno Police Department and Department of Homeland Security Investigations are committed to eradicating human trafficking in the Fresno area. Conducting operations like Stolen Hearts and making arrests is intended
to discourage others from engaging in acts that perpetuate sexual exploitation of minors, but just as importantly, helping both juvenile and adult victims to exit re-occurring systems of exploitation.”
“If you believe anyone you know is a victim of sex trafficking or exploitation, please contact local law enforcement or Breaking the Chains directly at 888- 858-2021 or at www.btcfresno.org for help.”