A teenage girl was rescued by police in Long Beach last month after she got into a dispute with a man who allegedly trafficked her and kidnapped her infant, police said Wednesday.
Officers responded to a call about a dispute on July 28 at 8:17 p.m. in the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Hill Street, the Long Beach Police Department said in a news release.
Officers at the scene talked to the 17-year-old girl who they believed was a victim of human trafficking.
“Later, officers determined the suspect had taken the minor’s infant child without her consent and demanded a ransom,” police said in the statement.
The infant was safely reunited with the teenage mother that same evening of the dispute.
According to police, an investigation revealed Antonio Lettmen, 23, of Los Angeles, was the suspect who had trafficked and assaulted the teenage girl.
Lettmen was arrested on suspicion of the human trafficking of a minor with violence on July 30 after detectives located him in a vehicle near his home in Los Angeles.
A search warrant was executed on the vehicle Lettmen was in at the time of this arrest and at his residence in the City of Los Angeles.
During the execution of search warrants at Lettmen’s vehicle and home, officers found a semi-automatic firearm and additional evidence pertaining to the human trafficking of the teenage girl, police said.
He was charged Tuesday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for commercially sex trafficking a minor with violence, kidnapping for ransom and ex-felon in possession of a firearm.