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Over 400 arrested in California human trafficking investigation

More than 400 people were arrested in a California human trafficking investigation that took place from Feb. 6 to Feb. 12, police announced Tuesday at the Los Angeles Hall of Justice.

The arrests were part of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild led by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force.

The operation included more than 80 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and task forces across California.

“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild is a state-wide operation which displays the mutual commitment of California law enforcement, social service agencies, and victim service providers in the fight to end sex trafficking,” said the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force in a statement.

The goals of the operation were “rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, providing victims with much-needed services, identifying and arresting their captors, seeking successful prosecutions, and disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild recovered 65 adults and 7 minors who were victims of trafficking.

Overall, 413 people were arrested, including 182 men arrested for solicitation and 30 arrested for suspected trafficking and exploiting.

The press conference Tuesday included representatives from the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office, Santa Ana Police Department, United States Attorney’s Office, Saving Innocence, Zoe International and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“You are the focus of this endeavor,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said to trafficking survivors. “We are here for you. We are here to help you reclaim your freedom from the binds of sex trafficking, and to provide you the support and tools to rebuild your lives.”

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, victims of trafficking were sent to be cared for by Department of Children and Family Services Agencies and victim service providers in the counties where they were recovered.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild takes place annually. It took place for the seventh time in 2022.

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