Labor trafficking investigation underway after 11-year-old found at suspected marijuana grow house in Yucca Valley: Sheriff

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Detectives are investigating whether an 11-year-old New York boy found at a Yucca Valley marijuana grow house was the victim of labor trafficking, officials said Thursday.

Marijuana enforcement investigators were serving a search warrant for suspected illegal weed cultivation at a home in the 8000 block of Del Monte Avenue Tuesday morning when they saw the boy, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The boy’s grandmother brought him to California from the state of New York about three to four months ago, and he’s been living with two adults at the house — neither of whom are related to him, officials said.

The boy rarely went outside, and had no relatives nearby to contact, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Investigators from the county’s human trafficking task force were called to investigate.

“Information provided by the adults offered no additional clarity as to the juvenile’s true purpose for being at the residence,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “Based upon the totality of circumstances and available information, Task Force investigators could not rule out the possibility of the juvenile being a victim of Labor Trafficking.”

The boy was taken into protective custody, and released to social workers from the San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services.

Officials have not named the two adults found at the house and no other details were immediately available.

Anyone with information is asked to call the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force at 909-387-8400. Those who prefer to provide a tip anonymously can call We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME.

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