LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Two men have been captured and a woman remains on the run in connection with a sex-trafficking ring that stretched across the state, law enforcement officials announced Thursday.
Quinton Brown, 30, Gerald Turner, 32, and Mia McNeil, 32, were charged following a six-month investigation that involved officials from Los Angeles and Tulare counties, along with the state Department of Justice.
Brown and Turner are in custody, but McNeil remains at large.
“Law enforcement agents throughout the state work tirelessly every day to ensure that Californians are safe from exploitation and do not become victims of human trafficking,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “These charges stem from the hard work of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the California Department of Justice attorneys and special agents.
Authorities said there were 13 victims of the sex trafficking ring, eight of them juveniles ranging in age from 15 to 17. The others were 18 to 21 years old.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Brown lured victims from the Central Valley and trafficked them throughout the state, primarily in the Central Valley, Bay Area and Los Angeles County.
Brown is facing 41 criminal counts, while Turner was hit with six counts and McNeil with 12.
McDonnell said the investigation began in January when deputies from the West Hollywood station responded to a call about a missing girl from Tulare County who might be in a West Hollywood apartment. Deputies found the missing girl, but also discovered a female adult and another adult who was on parole, and the call led to the discovery of the alleged sex trafficking operation, McDonnell said.
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