More Than 500 Arrests Made in Annual Statewide Human Trafficking Operation, LASD Announces

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An annual statewide human trafficking operation led to hundreds of arrest last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday.

"Operation Reclaim and Rebuild" took place Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, with efforts from the Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles Police Department among dozens of federal, state and local agencies.

Officers made a total of 518 arrests across California, including 266 individuals who solicited illegal acts, 27 people for pimping, pandering or supervising, and 190 others for commercial sex work, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Authorities rescued 87 victims, including 11 minors, the agency said.

At a news conference on Tuesday, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva described an undercover operation at a Sunnyvale hotel in which officers arrested a man accused of taking advantage of three women addicted to heroin.

That person had a previous record for human trafficking, according to the sheriff.

Villanueva said the arrests should serve as a warning for those involved in similar crimes.

"Don't do business in Los Angeles County or the state of California. We will find you," Villanueva said.

Lauren Lyster reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on Feb. 4, 2020.

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