For the second time within a month, California law enforcement agencies have yielded yet another successful bust resulting in dozens of arrests and a handful of rescues through the 2021 “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”.
A Tuesday press release issued by the Riverside County Sherriff’s Department revealed the county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) arrested 64 individuals involved in online sex trafficking and rescued two victims over a span of four days.
According to the release, 61 men and 1 woman were arrested on charges of “solicitation of prostitution”. One man was arrested for “soliciting a minor for lewd purposes”, and another man is facing charges for “supervising/aiding a person to commit prostitution”.
The RCAHT Task Force recovered two adult females who they believe are victims of online sex trafficking, although this is yet to be confirmed.
“Initial investigations led the task force to believe these subjects were being forced to engage in acts of prostitution against their will,” the Sherriff’s Department stated.
Operation Reclaim and Rebuild is an annual effort conducted by a multitude of Riverside County law enforcement agencies which, “focuses on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, identifying and arresting their captors, and disrupting demand for these vulnerable victims.”
The initiative, “is timed to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and serves as a reminder that human trafficking will not be tolerated in California,” the release adds.
In 2020, the same effort resulted in 76 adults and 11 minor victims recovered, 266 males arrested for solicitation, and 27 individuals arrested for trafficking and exploitation.
Riverside County’s anti-human trafficking efforts come just over one week after another sex trafficking bust in Los Angeles resulted in a massive recovery of 33 missing children.
Separately, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild's initiative in Ventura California resulted in 5 arrests for, "various criminal violations including human trafficking, pimping or pandering, solicitation of prostitution," and others.
Thanks to ramped up efforts to combat this tragic and unreported issue nationwide, America continues to see highly successful rescue missions.
As awareness rises, we can expect to see increased funding and initiatives to end this form of modern-day slavery.