SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the arrest of a Sacramento man accused of trafficking a minor in various counties throughout California. The arrest is the result of a 10-month investigation by the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Team. The suspect was charged by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office with pimping of a minor under the age of 16, pandering of a minor under the age of 16, and human trafficking of a minor. The victim was provided support though Child Welfare Services.
“Human trafficking — and especially the trafficking of children — will not be tolerated in California, period,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I established DOJ’s Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Team to ensure that my office could provide targeted and aggressive support to ending this modern-day form of slavery in our state. I am grateful for my team’s work in this case, as well as for the hundreds of arrests they have made and victims they have supported since starting this work in 2021. We will continue to keep at it, every day, as one person exploited is one too many in California, or anywhere else.”
Attorney General Bonta launched DOJ’s Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams (HT/SPAT) in June 2021. The teams — one covering Northern California and another covering Southern California — have taken significant action across the state to support law enforcement partners in disrupting and dismantling human trafficking and the criminal exploitation of children. To date, the teams have arrested approximately 627 traffickers and assisted or supported 647 victims in operations throughout the state including:
- “Operation Century Week” in San Diego in November 2022, resulting in the arrest of 30 individuals.
- “Operation Home for the Holidays” in San Diego, National City and Santee in December 2022, resulting in the arrest of 5 suspects, the assistance of 21 survivors, and the seizure of a high capacity magazine, a loaded firearm, and approximately 1.8 pounds of marijuana.
- “Operation Better Pathways” in San Diego and National City in February 2023, resulting in 48 arrested, 41 survivors assisted, and the seizure of two firearms, including a ghost gun.
- “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” in San Diego, Fresno, and Sacramento counties in February 2022, resulting in the arrest of 30 suspects and the assistance of 72 survivors.
- “Operation Linkup” in Kings County in September 2021, resulting in the arrest of 17 suspects.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women, and children for sex or labor through force, fraud, or coercion. Human trafficking does not require movement across borders. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 1,300 human trafficking cases reported in California in 2020 — more than any other state in the nation. In California, human trafficking is prevalent in the hospitality, commercial sex, domestic work, and construction industries. Victims of human trafficking are also found among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, providers of residential care, and in California’s garment sector.
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Additional information and resources to support survivors of human trafficking are available here.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.