According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, three people have been charged with pimping eight teens for commercial sex work in a ring that operated in California, Nevada and Texas.
CBS News reports:
The teens, between 15 and 17, were lured into the commercial sex operation that solicited customers through postings on the internet, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.
McDonnell, who was joined by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux at a press conference, said the suspects “sought to exploit children while defrauding their victims and other unsuspecting people.”
“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.
The human trafficking included 13 female victims, including the eight teens, authorities said.
Human trafficking has become “one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises worldwide,” Becerra said.
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.
McNeil has not yet been apprehended, authorities said.
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