3 accused of pimping teens in California trafficking ring

3 accused of pimping teens in California trafficking ring

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, as well as in Las Vegas.

"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. "We believe McNeil would rent apartments that housed the traffickers and provided a location where customers would pay to have sex with these victims", said Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles County.

Among the victims were eight young women between the ages of 15 and 17 years old.

Investigators launched a probe in December after Los Angeles County deputies were called to an apartment in West Hollywood to follow up on a missing person report filed in Tulare County, McDonnell said. "We knew the more we looked, the more we would find".

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Authorities say McNeil used stolen identities to rent apartments across California that were used as brothels and purchased luxury cars that were used to transport the victims throughout California and to Las Vegas, Nevada and Texas.

Law enforcement arrested Brown and Turner, but McNeil is still at large. Investigators are still looking for Mia Maree McNeil, a 32-year-old woman from Los Angeles. "In California, human trafficking is reported here in our state more than in any other". "People who are out there, they think of this as prostitution, they think of this as a victimless crime".

"They're coerced into it", McDonnell said. "These are child molesters that are out there taking advantage of some of the most vulnerable in society".

The investigation is one of the largest scale human trafficking cases on the West Coast, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. In addition, there have been 185 victims rescued, a majority of them youths who were sex trafficked. Sheriff Boudreaux said the investigation is ongoing but he did reveal traffickers spend months looking for and grooming local children online. But he implored parents to watch their children carefully, especially while they are on their mobile phones. "Social networking is an environment for predators to prey on and exploit the innocence of our children".

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