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Placer part of statewide sex trafficking crackdown

339 arrests around California part of Operation Reclaim
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Placer Special Investigations Unit took part in a statewide operation combating human trafficking.

As part of a regional effort, the multi-agency task force, that includes Sheriff’s County Sheriff’s Office and Auburn Police personnel, contacted or arrested  27 people for crimes related to human trafficking, including pimping and prostitution.

The Sheriff’s Office wasn’t releasing names, charges or locations of arrests because of ongoing investigations, Lt. Andrew Scott said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said 339 people were arrested in the fifth annual Operation Reclaim and Rebuild enforcement operation.

The operation took place from January 24-27, with 90 participating federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild focused on rescuing victims of sex slavery and human trafficking, providing victims with services, identifying and arresting their captors, seeking successful prosecutions and disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers.

“Investigators focused enforcement operations wherever the trafficking of human beings took place, from confronting the reality of sidewalk prostitution by conducting demand operations to challenging the virtual reality of the cyber world where traffickers believe they can operate anonymously using the internet,” the L.A. sheriff’s office stated.

Placer County jail records show at least two arrests during the operation - one by Auburn Police on a charge of pimping and one in Rocklin on a charge of prostitution and meth possession for sales. The Sheriff’s Office did say that three people were arrested during the regional operation on suspicion of pimping and conspiracy. Other charges included prostitution and possession of meth, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Like the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Auburn Police Department didn’t provide details.

“The internet furnishes a vast variety of opportunities for traffickers but with the experience of specially trained cyber detectives who posed as vulnerable teenagers and interacted with suspects on social media, traffickers and customers who were anxious to exploit found their plans foiled,” the L.A. Sheriff’s Office stated.

Over the course of three days, law enforcement BOT technology exchanged thousands of texts with 75 men seeking to purchase sex and captured their phone numbers.

The L.A Sheriff’s Office described the operation as a success, with 34 adult and 14 minor victims recovered, 156 males arrested on prostitution solicitation charges and 36 suspected traffickers and pimps jailed.

“This three-day operation illustrates how law-enforcement agencies can work together to support survivors and zero in on criminals who have no qualms about exploiting human life,” State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.