A series of law enforcement operations throughout Riverside County targeting people seeking or engaged in illicit sexual services netted 64 arrests, authorities said Tuesday.
The county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force joined other agencies statewide in “Operation Reclaim & Rebuild,” with the goal of cracking down on suspects involved in prostitution rings and escort services, as well as rescuing the victims.
“The task force seeks to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking … within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue and apprehend those who seek to exploit those who are most vulnerable,” according to an agency statement.
“Through proactive enforcement operations such as Reclaim & Rebuild, we work to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.”
Two women who were located and interviewed during the seven task force operations that took place over four days were identified as victims, according to sheriff’s officials. They were referred to agencies that could provide assistance with leaving the illicit sex trade.
Most of the individuals arrested in the county sweeps were booked on suspicion of solicitation of prostitution, though one was additionally taken into custody for soliciting a minor for lewd acts, and another person was nabbed for alleged pimping.
The suspects were taken into custody in La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Riverside and Temecula.
Other agencies conducted similar operations statewide last month, and the combined operations resulted in a total 518 arrests, according to officials.
Operation Reclaim & Rebuild was conducted as part of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
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