23 arrested in anti-human trafficking operation in Encinitas

Local

ENCINITAS, Calif. — A multi-agency operation targeting demand for prostitution ended with 23 men in custody on Tuesday.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department called it an “anti-human trafficking demand reduction operation.” Deputies teamed up with local, state and federal agencies to target sex buyers and traffickers in the City of Encinitas.

The sheriff’s department said a total of 23 men were taken into custody for solicitation of prostitution. The operation followed another sting in San Diego County in April that netted 144 arrests. Authorities said they targeted people searching for options on social media pages for the region as part of that investigation.

“Sex buyers drive the demand for human trafficking, which results in an increase of offenders and victims, and contributes to negative consequences victims of human trafficking endure,” a news release said.

The San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of officers and prosecutors from nearly a dozen agencies, including California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National City Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department and United States Attorney’s Office.

Law enforcement is encouraging the public to report suspected human trafficking to their local law enforcement agency or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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