A three-year investigation has led to the arrest of a human trafficking suspect wanted by authorities in Santa Barbara County who say there could be other victims.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation began in March of 2019 after multiple human trafficking victims were found.
A felony complaint warrant was issued for the suspect, identified as Raymond Carnell Crandell, 31, of Santa Maria, in May of this year after detectives submitted their findings to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
Officials say Crandell was found in Los Angeles on Wednesday in a hotel room with an 18-year-old and arrested on the outstanding warrant along with another warrant out of Los Angeles County for drug-related charges.
“Detectives believe Crandell was attempting to recruit the female for the purpose of prostitution,” according to a press release.
Crandell is currently being held in a Los Angeles County Jail but authorities say he will be transferred to Santa Barbara County once his court process in Southern California is complete.
The warrant out of Santa Barbara County includes one count of human trafficking of a minor, seven counts of pimping and seven counts of pandering, all felonies, according to the sheriff’s office. The bail amount is $1 million.
“Sheriff’s detectives believe there are additional victims, including juveniles, who may have been contacted in person or through social media and exploited by Crandell. The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who may have been approached by, or anyone having information about Crandell to please contact Detective Joshua Cockrell via email at HumanTrafficking@sbsheriff.org or by phone at 805-681-4105,” according to a press release.