During the week of February 6-12, 2022, Detectives from the Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force (VCHTTF) participated in the statewide operation known as Operation Reclaim and Rebuild. Throughout the week, investigators went to locations in the tri- county area, to include locations in Ventura County, known for sex trafficking activity and set up sting operations. Investigators also targeted businesses in which there have been reports of illegal sexual activity.
The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of two full time Sheriff’s Detectives supported by representative detectives from each law enforcement agency in Ventura County and several victim service providers. The VCHTTF investigates both labor and sex trafficking occurring in Ventura County. Many human trafficking groups operate regionally and transport their victims to different areas to avoid law enforcement detection. VCHTTF Detectives have established close working relationships with nearby task forces in an attempt to stop trafficking from occurring in our counties and continue to strengthen intra-agency bonds through collaboration
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Operation Reclaim and Rebuild traditionally occurs around this time frame, when local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies join for enforcement efforts. The agencies who assisted this year’s operations were the Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force, California State University Police, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Santa Barbara Human Trafficking Task Force, and San Luis Obispo Counter Human Trafficking Team. Our goal was to rescue victims of sexual exploitation, arrest the human traffickers or pimps, and provide social services to potential human trafficking victims in the tri-county area. Detectives believe that these proactive enforcement efforts are vital to harnessing the growing human trafficking problems.
Locally, 5 victims were contacted and connected with local victim resources in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. Eight arrests were made for various criminal violations including solicitation of prostitution, pimping, and pandering.
Detectives encourage victims to contact “211” or local law enforcement if you believe you are victim or know a victim of human trafficking to be connected with services.
Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force
California State University Police
Federal Bureau of Investigations
Santa Barbara Human Trafficking Task Force
San Luis Obispo Counter Human Trafficking Team