Authorities in Ventura County arrested three men and two women, from Covina, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Rosemead, and charged them with sex crimes following their investigation of a human trafficking ring that operated in nine California counties.
A combined task force of federal, state and local police agencies conducted a six-month investigation, including prostitution stings in Oxnard and other locations in Ventura County. Officers from the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office responded to ads for sex on Backpage.com.
Following the arrests, investigators uncovered evidence of a much larger operation. The criminal enterprise operated much like a corporation, according to police. Those arrested organized meetings between women and clients responding to the advertisements, coordinated transportation and logistics, negotiated pricing and laundered the proceeds of the operation through as many as nine different banks.
The investigation also identified more than two-dozen women who spoke little or no English, and who had entered the country on legitimate visas. The women were kept at various motels, rarely leaving their rooms, and were forced to work throughout the day. The women were charged for the delivery of clients to their rooms, for the rooms themselves, the advertisements and for basic necessities like food.
Upon the arrest of the five suspects, police seized about $350,000 in cash, nearly $750,000 in bank accounts belonging to the group, three residential properties and a luxury vehicle. At the time of the arrests, authorities located eight women who were actively being trafficked by the operation.
Ventura sex crimes attorney
If you’ve been arrested for sex crimes in Ventura County, you need the assistance of an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Southern California for more than 30 years, and will take your case.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.
Photo Credit: edkoehler, via Flickr.com