Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the arrests of 198 individuals in Los Angeles in connection with human trafficking and the rescue of 18 victims, 12 of whom are underage:
“Coordinated law enforcement operations to arrest traffickers and buyers and rescue victims—such as the one we saw this week in Los Angeles—are essential to stopping the scourge of human trafficking in our communities.
“We know that ‘perceived impunity’ from law enforcement is a key driver of increased demand. Too often, those who buy underage girls for sex are not prosecuted, even though many know the girls are underage and being held against their will.
“The operation conducted by the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Human Trafficking Task Force, in conjunction with the FBI and victims service providers is a clear statement that law enforcement will arrest and prosecute those who buy and traffic underage girls.
“I applaud Chief Beck, Sheriff McDonnell and federal authorities for their work to orchestrate this operation—Los Angeles is truly becoming a nationwide leader in combatting trafficking.”