San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced today nine people were arrested in connection to Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, a statewide operation focused on combatting human trafficking in southern California.
Dow says the San Luis Obispo County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, in its fourth year participating in the operation, made nine arrests for three different offenses between February 6th and February 12th.
William Feland, Luis Gonzalez, and Robert Walls, Jr. will be arraigned in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on March 24 for contacting a 13-year-old minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense.
Joseph Armas, Alex Lopez, Neil Miller, and James Wormley will be arraigned on June 1 for solicitation of prostitution.
Two unnamed individuals were arrested for pimping and are part of ongoing investigations.
"The demand for prostitution creates a lucrative cash market that traffickers fill with victims – many who are children – even in our beautiful community," Dow said in a statement today. "Our local anti-human trafficking enforcement operations are designed to reduce the demand for commercial sex that leads to exploitation of minors and adults every day in our community. A warning to those thinking about purchasing sex: please stop and consider that one million kids are trafficked for sex each year and you are making it more widespread."
Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department report 413 total arrests were made in the operation.