Human trafficking victims found
Three victims were discovered in a human trafficking sting operation on Tuesday.
The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force conducted an operation, where three women engaged in the sales of sex were contacted and four sex buyers were arrested, according to Lt. Robert Minter of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
The names of those arrested are not available for release due to ongoing investigations, Lt. Minter said in a news release.
The Task Force focuses on rescuing victims and providing resources for them while identifying and arresting their traffickers. Lt. Minter said the Sheriff’s Office works closely with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program to ensure survivors’ needs are met during the investigation.
Survivors have the option of contacting the Victim-Witness Assistance Program directly at 805-568-2400.
The Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind survivors that they can also get support services through Standing Together to End Sexual Assault and can reach an advocate at any time by calling 805-564-3696. STESA’s website is sbstesa.org.
The Task Force was established in 2016 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and was renewed in 2020 with funding for an additional three years.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, you’re asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip line at 805-681-4171 or provide an anonymous tip at www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip.
— Forrest McFarland