California’s rampant prostitution problem had johns lined up for sex like they were at a “fast-food drive-through,” police said as they announced a series of sting operations that netted dozens of arrests.
Authorities in San Diego County, California, arrested 48 people in a trafficking and sexual exploitation investigation across San Diego and National City from Jan. 9 to Feb. 10.
“Young women being openly trafficked in broad daylight, with individuals paying for sex lined up like they were going through a fast-food drive-through,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said at a news conference Tuesday. “It’s an unacceptable situation.”
The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force led “Operation Better Pathways,” assisted by law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level.
Officials carried out a total of 17 stings in the county, focusing on areas such as Dalbergia Street in San Diego, Naval Base San Diego and Roosevelt Avenue in National City, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“What I saw was what drove me to be a prosecutor in the first place,” Stephan added. “What I saw was that look in the eyes of human beings like they are products, products with hardly any clothing on. Lines of cars like this is some kind of… buying a hamburger at a 24/7 place. But these are human beings.”
A total of 39 people were arrested for misdemeanors related to allegedly buying sex, nine people were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking of a minor and assault with a deadly weapon.
Officials also identified 41 suspected victims of human trafficking or sex exploitation – eight of whom were children, including one girl who was only 13 years old.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta also attended the press conference, lauding officials for their work and highlighting that “we’re fighting to hold perpetrators accountable, and help survivors get a fresh start.”
The young girls and women suspected of being victims of human trafficking were offered support services, according to local leaders.
“The criminals who were taken down as part of this operation abused and exploited women for their own enrichment,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said at the press conference. “We will continue to disrupt these criminal operations that seek to do our people in our communities harm.”
The officials in San Diego sounding the alarm on human trafficking and prostitution concerns are far from alone. Local leaders and residents in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco have also spoken out that brazen prostitution and human trafficking in California are spiraling in the wake of a new law that took effect last month.
“I get the call saying, ‘Mr. Gallo, I can’t get into my home because the pimp is blocking my driveway,'” Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo said earlier this month of the weekly calls he receives from residents in East Oakland. “It’s constant.”
H/T Fox News (read more at FoxNews.com)
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