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Seven Arrested In Connection With Human Trafficking Operation In Ventura, Two Other Counties

A crackdown on sex trafficking has led to seven arrests, with two additional people being sought in Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say they learned women were being recruited in Mexico, and brought to the United States to work in massage and spa businesses as prostitutes.  They say the suspects funneled profits from the businesses into a fashion boutique to make the proceeds appear legal.

The businesses included locations in Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Colton, San Bernardino, and Palm Springs.  Search warrants were served at the spots this week, with numerous women suspected of being trafficked found, and large quantities of cash seized.

The seven people arrested so far are facing charges ranging from pimping to human trafficking.  The crackdown was the result of an investigation by the Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force.  It includes the Sheriff’s Office, the DA’s Office, several police departments, plus state and federal agencies.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.