Nineteen people – both men and women – have been jailed in a sweep of suspected sex trafficking in Manteca.
The arrests occurred at various times on Friday as the Manteca Police Department Special Investigations’ Unit conducted a human trafficking enforcement operation within the city with the help of other agencies including the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Investigation Team, Homeland Security and the San Joaquin County Victim Witness Program.
A Manteca Police spokesman said he couldn’t reveal the location of the arrests as it could hamper ongoing investigations on sexual trafficking in the city.
The suspects were charged with prostitution, pimping, pandering and contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense. All were booked at the San Joaquin County Jail with a goal of rescuing victims of human trafficking and the arrest of future sexual predators targeting minors, according to Manteca Police Sgt. Michael Aguilar.
“The Manteca Police Department is going to continue its enforcement and intervention in human trafficking in the future,” Sgt. Aguilar said.
Earlier on March 3 in a similar operation, the Manteca Police Department assisted the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, along with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, The California Highway Patrol and the Stockton Women’s Shelter in arresting some 10 individuals in an alleged human trafficking operation in a rural area of the county. It was at least the second time that the Women’s Center was involved in trafficking offenses.
An adult female and a juvenile female were rescued in the law enforcement effort to combat online sex trafficking. On the first day they were allegedly forced against their will into sexual experiences. The team of law enforcement agents collectively intervened by contacting more than 125 individuals over the Internet during the sting operation
Including those arrested were a 72-year-old man, a 32 and a 27-year-old woman and an 18-year-old teen charged alone with human trafficking of a minor, pimping and pandering. The 21-year-old woman was charged with supervising prostitution. The 72-year-old man is being charged with contacting and arranging to meet a minor 14-year-old or younger for the intent to commit a sex offense.
Sex trafficking in San Joaquin County is seen by law enforcement as extremely prevalent in the San Joaquin County. The District Attorney’s Office is taking a strong stand in attempting to combat and eradicate child trafficking.
The 72-year-old man is being held in lieu of $350,000 bail at the San Joaquin County Jail and is charged with one felony and one misdemeanor. No court date has yet been set. The 18-year-old, charged with three felonies, is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail at the county jail with a court date in the San Joaquin County Superior Court date set for May 9 at 8:30 a.m.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.