Southern California

Twenty-Eight Arrested, Girl Rescued in Human Trafficking Operation In Compton

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Nearly 30 people were arrested and a 16-year-old Texas girl was rescued Tuesday during a human trafficking sting operation in Compton, sheriff's officials announced Wednesday.

A regional task force, which included undercover sheriff's deputies, arrested 28 people  -- some of whom were men who solicited undercover deputies for various sex acts, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Also, 11 women were arrested on suspicion of loitering for the purposes of prostitution and three women were arrested on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution after they solicited sex for money from undercover sheriff's detectives, authorities said.

Three adult female victims contacted during the operation were identified as victims of human trafficking and accepted services from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, and three others accepted help from the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program. The others were booked at the Century Regional Detention Facility.

The 16-year-old girl, who had been initially trafficked in Houston and sent to work in Southern California, was taken into custody while on Long Beach Boulevard. She was subsequently reunited with her parents in Houston with the assistance of the FBI, according to sheriff's officials.

Two of the male arrestees remain in custody.

Juan Carlos Perez Rivas, 37, of Fullerton, was arrested on suspicion of traveling to meet a minor for lewd purposes after he allegedly solicited an undercover sheriff's deputy -- who was posing as a young girl on a social media site, to have sex for money. He's being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Major Louis Starling, 33, of Pasadena, was arrested on suspicion of pandering for allegedly trying to recruit an undercover sheriff's deputy as a sex worker. He's also being held at the CRDF, with bail set at $35,000.

The regional task force included members of the FBI, District Attorney's Office, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Unified School Police and Homeland Security Investigations.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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