San Diego

Human Trafficking Victim Held for Days in San Diego, 3 Arrested in Ventura

Three men suspected of holding a teenager against her will for three days in San Diego were arrested in Ventura County.

A teenager escaped in Ventura County after being held for three days in San Diego against her will as a human trafficking victim, confirmed police.

Three suspects involved in the case were arrested in Ventura County in connection with the crime Saturday, according to the Ventura Police Department.

Brian Lewis, age 21, DaShawn Jackson, age 18, and Dameon Howard, age 20, from Fresno are all suspected of felony human trafficking and conspiracy charges. Ventura police officers say they discovered a loaded gun in their car.

Lewis also faces a felony charge of carrying a loaded firearm in his vehicle.

The teenager told police she was held for three days in San Diego County before she was taken to the La Quinta Inn in Ventura County.

"We are hoping to be able to eventually pinpoint where this happened but we may never know," said Ventura Police Major Crimes Sgt. Matt Cain.

The victim was from Fresno, and told police she knew she was in San Diego but could not tell exactly where.

At about 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Ventura Police received a call from the National Human Trafficking Center hotline from a teenager who was fleeing human trafficking.

When the suspects left San Diego and went to a hotel in Ventura, police say that's when the victim was able to escape and call for help. She fled and hid near Victoria Avenue and Valentine Road. 

Patrol officers were sent to the area, found the 17-year-old victim and took her to the station. She told officers that she was held against her will and forced to commit sex acts under the threat of physical harm. 

The victim provided police with descriptions of the suspects, their vehicle and a possible room where they were staying.

All three suspects were later arrested and identified by the victim as the ones who held her captive in the La Quinta Inn on Valentine Road in Ventura County, according to Ventura Police.

An investigation into this human trafficking incident is ongoing. Anyone with information can call the Ventura Police Major Crimes Unit at 805-339-4465.

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