Nearly 200 arrests were made and 18 victims, including 12 minors, were rescued during a county-wide sex trafficking operation earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Thursday.
Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 23, vice investigators conducted field operations across L.A. County looking for potential sex trafficking victims, according to an LAPD news release. After rescuing the victims, they attempted to locate and arrest the pimp.
Authorities subsequently freed six adults and 12 minors during the nearly weeklong sweep, police said.
Six pimps were arrested, and a total of 198 potential human trafficking suspects were taken into custody, according to LAPD officials.
Of those in custody, 115 were booked on charges of soliciting prostitution, LAPD Officer told the Los Angeles Times.
The minors have been placed in protective custody and would receive assistance from the Department of Children and Family Services, as well as from other non-governmental organizations, according to LAPD. Their ages have not been released.
Police have also not identified of any of those arrested.
“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was extremely successful and the quantity of arrests sends a strong message to the community that Human Trafficking is not tolerated,” the release stated. “Most importantly, the operation provided 18 victims of sexual exploitation the opportunity and ability to reclaim their freedom and rebuild their lives.”
The operation was conducted by LAPD’s Detective Support and Vice Division, Human Trafficking Unit, in partnership with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI, according to the release.
Anyone with information on crimes related to human trafficking, pimping and/or pandering should call LAPD Detective Lina Teague at 213-486-0957. Calls can also be directed to 1-877-527-3247 during weekends and non-business hours.
Those preferring to leave an anonymous tip have been asked to contact Crime Stoppers by dialing at 800-222-8477, or by visiting the website LAPDOnline.org.