Human Trafficking in the News:
RCAHT responsible for apprehending and charging a 44 year old Hemet man with 61 felony counts, including trafficking.
A Hemet man faces 61 felony charges as cops say he posed as a woman on Facebook to lure young girls into prostitution. Eliberto Cruz Jacobo, 44,was arrested on March 17th. He is accused of contacting approximately 120 girls through the misleading Facebook account he set up using the name ‘Marlissa Garcia’. Police began to investigate Jacobo in November of last year after he contacted two juveniles in The Coachella Valley. Jacobo has been charged with 61 felonies and one misdemeanor count, including human trafficking, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, sending harmful matter to seduce minors, communication with a minor to commit a sexual offense, and use of a minor for the production of obscene matter. Local television station KESQ reported on the story and interviewed Operation SafeHouse’s Anti-Human Trafficking Director, Kristen Dolan, for tips on how to keep children safe on social media. CBS Los Angeles also covered the story.
The Day of Action also took place in the desert, where volunteers set up at Southwest Church and fanned out all over the Coachella Valley. KMIR Day of Action Video
HEMET (CBSLA.com) — A pair of Riverside County residents have been arrested on human trafficking charges involving two teenage girls. Dontae Wade, 33, and 30-year-old Precious Powers were taken into custody Wednesday at a home in the 1100 block of Rosalia Avenue in Hemet, officials with the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) said. The investigation into Wade and Powers began on May 12 when the RCAHT received information about the possible sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl. Officials said the victim was recruited by the two suspects and was taken “to San Bernardino and Santa Ana, where she was compelled to perform sex acts for money on numerous occasions.” Authorities served a search warrant of the residence Wednesday and arrested the pair for felony human trafficking, pimping of a minor and conspiracy. They were booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. “Investigating officers present at the search warrant located an additional 18-year-old female who disclosed she began working as a prostitute for Wade and Powers when she was 17 years old,” officials said. Powers was being held on $25,000 bail and will appear in court Friday. Booking information was not available for Wade.
December 03, 2014 (RCAHT) Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force took responsibility for a missing 15 year old. The investigation reviled a web site posting prostitution ads and pictures of missing children and teens. December 11, 2014 RCAHT located several adult males in the, accompany of a 15 year old reported missing, (Name withheld due to age). Drugs and a firearm was also, discovered at the location. One additional Juvenile suspect was not at the scene. Arrested were one juvenile, and a 25-year-old Perris resident Michaeldeangelo Zavala. Along with, 19 years old, Norco, resident Joseph Hundley who was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. (Click title to read full Arrest)
Riverside County is a hot spot for human trafficking and experts say they are constantly identifying new victims, including some from the Coachella Valley. “You’re right in the middle of a trafficking corridor,” said Opal Singleton, training and outreach coordinator for the county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force and president and CEO of Million Kids, a Riverside-based nonprofit organization that combats the crime. A panel discussion is scheduled for Thursday night at Rancho Mirage High School to discuss the issue that plagues families across the country. The presentation will include a documentary, “Not My Life,” about human trafficking across the world. (Click title to read full story)