SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force and the National City Police Department May 26 spearheaded Operation Big Bad John to target sex buyers in San Diego county.
The large scale undercover operation was conducted by over 75 law enforcement officers from various local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County. As a result of the operation, 13 sex buyers were arrested and booked into the San Diego County Detention Facility. Over 17 grams of methamphetamine and several ecstasy pills were seized during the operation.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women and children through force, fraud, or coercion for sex, labor or both. Human trafficking is a crime under U.S. federal law and California state law. It is also the biggest human rights violation of our time.
The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) rose out of this need to effectively meet the threat of human trafficking including the increased use of social media to recruit victims and buyers, the transitory nature of the crime that erodes geographic lines, and the difficulty in identifying victims of human trafficking due to the fear of reporting or the lack of knowledge of the law.
The mission of the HTTF is to disrupt and dismantle human trafficking and child exploitation organizations through a comprehensive, collaborative and regional law enforcement and prosecution response, in order to identify and rescue victims and hold their offenders accountable; along with promoting community awareness, expanding the exchange of information, and enhancing law enforcement resources and training.
The HTTF is a cooperative effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Victims of human trafficking can be anyone, including men, women, children, adults, foreign nationals, or U.S. citizens. Victims are protected under the law, according to authorities.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center toll free, 24/7 Hotline is (888) 373-7888, or TEXT BeFree or 233733. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, CALL 9-1-1