Two women rescued from sex trafficking
Operation Second Chance arrests three for soliciting prostitution, one pimp in Tulare County
VISALIA – At least two women will get a second chance on life after being rescued from an online prostitution ring.
On Feb. 9, detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with investigators from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Visalia Police Department, Tulare County Human Trafficking Task Force and Madera County Sheriff’s Office, concluded two undercover operations. Known as “Operation Second Chance,” the operation was designed not only to arrest traffickers but find and rescue their victims. During the operation, detectives managed to rescue two adult females, one of which was believed to be a human traffick-ing victim who through force, fear and/or coercion was trafficked for sex. Personnel with Tulare County Family Services responded to the scene and provided the victims with help.
The undercover operation involved detectives setting up fictitious advertisements for an undercover officer on known prostitution sites. Nearly 40 men contacted the Sheriff’s Department’s decoy. Three of those men soliciting the undercover prostitutes were arrested including Rodridgo Baez Solis of Porterville, Joan Ramos of Por-terville and Christopher Rodarte of Visalia. Francisco Cruz Raygoza of Visalia was arrested and charged with pimping.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on human trafficking or victims seeking help is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218. Or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or through email at email@example.com or call The National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-539-2373 or text Info or Help to Be Free (233-733).
Human trafficking in the Central Valley, and more specifically Tulare County, has become increasingly problematic. From 2010-2016, over 400 victims have been identified and rescued in the Valley from Kern to Merced County, according to Central Valley Against Human Trafficking.