A man has been arrested following a human trafficking bust that involved victims being transported throughout California.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, detectives conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of 31-year-old James Powell of Sacramento and the discovery of three juvenile and two adult trafficking victims.
On March 20, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office received information from a Citrus Heights Police Department detective about a 14-year-old female runaway that may be in the Camarillo area. The detective believed the girl was a possible victim of human trafficking based on an internet post with a picture of the girl that advertised sexual services.
After a search, Camarillo Patrol deputies found the 14-year-old girl along with a 17-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman in a hotel in Camarillo who were all victims of sexual exploitation. After a further investigation, detectives determined a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman were unaccounted for and believed to also be victims.
On March 21, authorities found the missing 16 year-old girl in Sacramento and found the missing 20-year-old woman with Powell while checking into a hotel in Manhattan Beach, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
Powell was arrested and transported back to Ventura County where he was booked into the Ventura County Jail on human trafficking charges. His bail has been set at $510,000.00 .
Authorities involved included the Special Crimes Unit, Major Crimes Unit, Narcotics Unit, Camarillo Police