Investigators identified six sex and labor trafficking businesses throughout Southern California which were owned and operated by the suspects. Additionally, investigators identified a fashion boutique which was owned by the suspects to launder the proceeds from the illicit sex businesses. Proceeds from these businesses were funneled through the fashion boutique to make the proceeds appear legal so the suspects could pay car payments, mortgages, and other expenses.
Starting in January 2021, Human Trafficking Investigators assigned to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Special Crimes Unit received information that sex and labor trafficking was taking place at several massage parlors and skin care businesses in Ventura County. These businesses were owned and operated by a family living in the Inland Empire. These illicit businesses were being operated under fictitious names and were in the counties of Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino.
As the investigation proceeded, investigators learned suspects primarily targeted women from Mexico to work in these illicit businesses, some of whom were living in Southern California on United States Refugee Visas. Investigators also learned the suspects utilized human smugglers to recruit women in Mexico and bring them into the United States to work in these illicit businesses. Once these women were recruited, sex advertisements were placed on various internet sites depicting them. These sex advertisements would describe pricing, the type of sexual encounter, and which illicit business the women were working. These advertisements were updated daily, and the females were rotated throughout the Southern California businesses owned by the suspects.