Chances are if you live near a major city, the sex trafficking of underage girls is going on within an hour’s drive. The typical image of a pimp is that of a man but now police want you to be on the lookout for a woman pimp on the run for sex trafficking in California.
A multi-agency task force conducted a six-month investigation into a sex trafficking ring. The ring had at least 13 female victims, of which eight are reportedly minors. This week, police announced the arrests of Quinton Brown, 30, and Gerald Turner, 32, on multiple felony charges. A third person identified as Mia McNeil, 32, was able to elude authorities and is currently at large.
At a press conference, State Attorney General Xavier Becerra remarked, “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. These charges stem from the hard work of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and the California Department of Justice attorneys and special agents. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts over the course of this six-month investigation to bring these defendants to justice.”
The accused are facing a combined total of more than 48 felonies that include sex trafficking, pimping, and identity theft. The ages of the eight minor victims ranged from 15 to 17, while the five older women were between 18 and 21. According to the State Attorney’s office, the trio used social media platforms to lure the women into commercial sex. They then used the same platforms to sell them to customers in the states of California, Nevada, and Texas.
Law enforcement stated that the trio of pimps used stolen identities to rent apartments in California that were used as brothels. The group also was able to purchase luxury vehicles to transport their victims across state lines for customers. The sex trafficking ring had operations in the cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and major cities in Texas.
According to an interview given to rolling out by the FBI in Atlanta, women are buyers and traffickers, as well:
According to a study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, “ women are a big factor in the sex trade as customers. It was estimated that 40 percent of boys and 11 percent of the girls surveyed said that they had served a female client, with 13 percent of the boys exclusively serving female clients. Reports have indicated that women make up 35-40 percent of sex traffickers.