3 men arrested in Ventura after allegedly trafficking teen in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO - Three men were arrested in Ventura after allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl to commit acts of prostitution in San Diego County, police said Sunday.

Ventura Police were alerted about a call made to the National Human Trafficking Center hotline about 5:30 a.m. The victim said she had escaped from a potential trafficking situation and was hiding, KTLA reported. Investigators responded and took the victim to the Ventura Police Station where she said she had been with three men who forced her into prostitution for three days in San Diego County until they got a hotel room in Ventura.

She told authorities she was not allowed to leave and had been threatened by the men if she did not comply, Ventura police officials said in a news release.

Police were able to arrest the suspects with the description and information given to them by the victim. A loaded handgun and two women from Fresno were also found in the hotel room, KTLA reported. The women were eventually released when authorities found no evidence that they had been involved in any crime, police said.

Brian Lewis, 21, Dashawn Jackson, 18, and Dameon Howard, 20, all of Fresno, were identified by the victim as her captors and were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and conspiracy. Lewis is also expected to be charged with carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, police said.

This incident is under investigation and anyone with information about the crime or the suspects can call the Ventura Police Major Crimes Unit at 805- 339-4465.

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