A massive sex trafficking ring sold children in “plain sight” according to the New York Daily News. Thirteen girls and young women, including a 15-year-old, were rescued recently as part of one of the largest sex trafficking rings on the West Coast, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials announced Thursday.
The uncovering of the ring began with the search for a missing 15-year old from Tulare County last year. They found her in a West Hollywood apartment unit and that led to detectives in LA tracking down the ring that ran from California to Nevada.
The traffickers Quinton Brown, 30,Mia McNeil 32, and Gerald Turner, 32, “would traffic the victims in plain sight,” using the Internet to post photos to announce that they were for sale.
The children as young as 15 years of age were kept in apartments in dozens of communities including in Chatsworth, Burbank, West Hollywood and Las Vegas.
“Years ago, a human trafficking case of this magnitude was not likely,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a news conference in downtown. “We knew the more we looked, the more we would find.”
We are getting worse as a country.
“They are as young as 15 years old, bought and sold for commercial sex,” McDonnell added.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at the news conference such sex trafficking cases mostly involve victims born and raised in the United States. He said 72 percent of the victims found in California say they are American.
“Human trafficking, which includes sex and labor trafficking, is one of the fasting growing crimes in the world. Its reach is not limited to foreign countries,” Becerra said.” In California, human trafficking is reported here in our state more than in any other.”
Calexit would help the rest of the nation.
Investigators said the case is ongoing, including finding those who solicited the teens and young women.
“The predators online that are looking for an 11 year old … these people are not the traditional johns that most people think of.” McDonnell said. “These are predators. These are child molesters that are out there taking advantage of some of the most vulnerable in society.”
Since the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2015, there have been 697 arrests, and of those, about 30 percent were male buyers. In addition, there have been 185 victims rescued, a majority of them youths who were sex trafficked.
Leniency on criminals is not helping.
LA crime, for one, has increased every year since the laws were made more lenient three years ago with Prop 47. Police deal with gangs, homelessness, and criminal illegals but sentencing guidelines are too soft, police say.