An investigation by a multi-agency task force into online prostitution resulted in the arrests of 64 people in California. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild was led by the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.
From Jan. 24 to Jan. 28, sting operations were held in the California cities of Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Riverside, Palm Desert, and Temecula. Over the span of four days, there were 62 people arrested for solicitation of prostitution, one person for lewd purposes, and one person for aiding a person to commit prostitution, according to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The task force also rescued two women who are believed to be sex trafficking victims. Authorities suspect that the victims were forced to engage in acts of prostitution against their will. The women were referred to victim services for assistance.
The operation was carried out by the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, La Quinta Special Enforcement Team, Palm Desert Special Enforcement Team, Lake Elsinore Special Enforcement Team, Temecula Special Enforcement Team, Riverside Police Department, and Murrieta Police Department.
Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is 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. Operation Reclaim & Rebuild is timed to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and serves as a reminder that human trafficking will not be tolerated in California.
During last year’s Operation Reclaim & Rebuild, which included more than 70 law enforcement agencies, 518 people were arrested, and 87 victims were recovered, including 11 minors.
Also in January, a multi-agency human trafficking operation led by the FBI rescued 33 missing children in California.
In November, the U.S. Marshals Service located 27 missing children in Virginia during “Operation Find Our Children.”
In October, the Marshals announced the recovery of 45 endangered children and 178 arrests in Ohio and West Virginia during “Operation Autumn Hope.”
On Oct. 1, the Marshals Service said they rescued 11 children in New Orleans, two of whom were said to be in “extreme danger.”
On Sept. 21, U.S. Marshals recovered 35 missing children in Ohio during “Operation Safety Net.”
On Sept. 4, Marshals declared that they had rescued eight “highly endangered” missing children during “Operation Homecoming” in Indiana.
On Aug. 27, “Operation Not Forgotten” led to the discovery of 39 missing children in Georgia and Florida. Law enforcement stated that the children were between the ages of 3 and 17. Of the 39 endangered children, 15 were victims of sex trafficking.