Thousand Oaks | Human Trafficking Operation / Pimping Arrest

Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release 

Lee Ricks-Wynne Fresno, California, 38 years old

On September 25, 2020, detectives conducted another operation in Ventura County to rescue victims of sex trafficking and arrest their traffickers. Detectives communicated with multiple victims during the operation in an attempt to provide them resources.

While contacting one victim, who recently came to California from Idaho, detectives learned this victim’s trafficker was still in the immediate area. Detectives without help from the victim who refused to cooperate, were able to locate and contact the trafficker at a local hotel. The trafficker who was identified as Lee Ricks-Wynne, was from Fresno, and had an extensive criminal background with several violent crimes. Detectives located cash and other items on Lee Rick- Wynne which showed human trafficking was taking place. Detectives also obtained statements from Lee Ricks-Wynne which showed he directly profited from the victim’s sex trafficking.

Lee Ricks-Wynne was arrested for California Penal Code 266h(a) [Pimping] and was booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility.

The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force would like to make the public aware of some signs of human trafficking at hotels and motels. Traffickers often take advantage of the privacy and anonymity accessible through the hospitality industry. Hotels and motels can be especially attractive locations for all forms of trafficking. The type of signs might include “guests with minimal luggage and clothing” and “individuals who can’t speak freely or seem disoriented”.

There might be “guests who insist on little or no housekeeping,” or multiple people being escorted to a room one at a time. Familiarize yourself with more signs of human trafficking at polarisproject.org.

The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force is a task force made up of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Ventura Police Department, Santa Paula Police Department, Simi Valley Police Department, Oxnard Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, California Department of Justice, and several victim service providers. The primary mission of the task force is combatting the fight against sex and/or labor trafficking of humans within Ventura County. The Ventura County Task force works closely with surrounding cities and counties to fulfill our mission.

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.


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Lisa
3 months ago

May God mightily bless and protect these teams and their efforts to rescue the many victims of these horrible crimes against humanity. May it continue until all these evil criminals are brought to hard justice! Amen.