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Several cited, three arrested in three-city human-trafficking crackdown

Missing girl returned to mother
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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A three-city, multi-agency task force operation designed to combat human trafficking resulted in the citation of 16 women for prostitution and the arrest of three men, two for pimping and pandering and one for solicitation.

The crackdown on human trafficking, Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, was conducted throughout California, including Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville. The three-day operation resulted in 510 arrests statewide, including 178 males arrested for solicitation and 30 men arrested for pimping.

Locally, 16 women were cited and released for prostitution (six in Lincoln), four men were arrested for pimping and pandering, and one man was arrested for solicitation. And, in Auburn, a missing person, detained for prostitution, was returned to her mother. The missing person was a juvenile female.

Detective Adam Cline, of the Auburn Police Department and the Placer County Special Investigations Unit, helped organize Operation Reclaim and Rebuild’s local efforts. The women cited for prostitution were from Placer and Sacramento counties, according to Cline.

“The district attorney will likely file charges on all 22 cases,” Cline said. “They all seem like solid cases.”

Although most of those cited during the three-day crackdown on human trafficking were women, Cline said that arrests are made regularly on the customer side.

“This one was more supply-side this time but we also (arrest) Johns,” Cline said. “We’ve done quite a few on the customer side recently with the Roseville vice team.”

Lt. Victor Pecoraro, also of the Auburn Police Department, said the operation’s goal was to “mitigate crime and identify potential victims of trafficking.”

“Sometimes, it can be tricky and convoluted,” Pecoraro said. “Depending on what is and what is not observed, we may or may not have enough to cite or arrest.”

Jenny Davidson, executive director of Stand Up Placer, an organization that provides support and services for victims of human trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence, said Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was “absolutely successful.”

“We were super-involved,” Davidson said. “We work together with law enforcement to decide how best to offer services to victims. Every time there is a victim identified, we talk to them.”

During the three-day operation Davidson said her group came into contact with 10 confirmed victims of human trafficking, six of whom were minors.

“Pre-teens and teens are most at risk for recruitment,” Davidson added.

Amy Maggard, Stand Up Placer’s chief programming officer, said recruitment for sex trafficking is taking place at all high schools and middle schools in Placer County.

“They romance and befriend 12- to 16-year-olds,” Maggard said. “It is not more prevalent at one school over another. We’re seeing a lot of recruitment in our county for that age group.”

“We are seeing an increase in gang activity in Lincoln, Maggard added. “And gang-affiliated human trafficking in Lincoln.”

Maggard added that most recruiting happens on social media.

Last year, Stand Up Placer provided 8,842 services to 141 human trafficking victims, according to Davidson. The organization also assisted 397 sexual assault victims and 1,787 domestic violence victims. Almost all human trafficking victims are also victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, Davidson added.

Stand Up Placer operates a human trafficking drop-in center in Roseville and also operates a 24-hour crisis line at 800-575-5352. For more information on the drop-in center, call the crisis line.