LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A crackdown on human trafficking in California has led to the arrest of more than 500 people.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva joined other task force leaders Tuesday to announce the results of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild — a statewide, multi-agency operation that lasted one week and ended Feb. 1.READ MORE: South LA Residents Impacted By June 30th Botched Fireworks Explosion Still Dealing With Fallout
“Law enforcement agencies from across the state joined us to send a message to pimps, to exploiters and to buyers that it is unacceptable to buy another human being for sexual purposes,” Villanueva said. “We’ve had social workers, victim advocates and victim service providers actively working to reach trafficking victims, rescue them from their captors and put them on the path to a brighter future.”READ MORE: 'Ankle Biter' Mosquito Population On The Rise In Orange County
Villanueva said that more than 70 local, state and federal agencies worked together to rescue 76 adults and 11 underage victims, arresting 518 people across the state.
Of those arrested were 27 suspected “human traffickers and exploiters” and 266 suspected customers.MORE NEWS: Water Main Break Closes Part Of La Cienega Boulevard In West Hollywood
February is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.