A 16-year-old girl and 11 women were recovered during a two-day human trafficking operation in San Diego County that also resulted in the arrests of five men and woman on a variety of charges, authorities announced Thursday.
"Operation Home for the Holidays" was conducted Monday and Tuesday. It was aimed at recovering juvenile victims and involved detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department working undercover as sex buyers looking for online ads of suspected juveniles, according to a statement from the department.
Child Welfare Services and a juvenile advocate assisted with the recovery of the teenager, and the women were offered resources, the statement said.
Deputies arrested five men for suspected prostitution-related violations, including one who was in possession of a gun at the time of his arrest. A woman was arrested for trafficking of a minor, the department said. It was unclear if the minor recovered was the one being trafficked by the woman.
"I'm proud of the great work being done by the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force," Sheriff Bill Gore said. "The cooperation between the sheriff's department and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners is sending a clear message that human trafficking will not be tolerated in San Diego County."
The operation was a cooperative effort of the San Diego County Human Trafficking Task Force involving the California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, National City Police Department, San Diego City Attorney's Office, San Diego County District Attorney's Office, San Diego County Probation Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego Police Department and the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of California.