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More than three dozen arrested in alleged sex-trafficking ring in Compton

More than three dozen arrested in alleged sex-trafficking ring in Compton
Los Angeles Police Lt. Marc Evans addresses the media after arrests to break up a sex trafficking ring in Van Nuys in 2016. The latest sweep, involving the Sheriff's Department, targeted traffickers in Compton. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A prostitution ring shut down in Compton included several child and adult victims of human trafficking, authorities said.

A raid by law enforcement officers on Wednesday resulted in 36 arrests, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

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Three children were released to the care of the Department of Children and Family Services, officials said. Investigators also identified five women as victims of human trafficking; these individuals accepted what authorities described as "ongoing services."

The tally of those arrested included four women on suspicion of soliciting undercover deputies for sex acts, and 13 women on suspicion of loitering for the purposes of prostitution. Each of the women was offered services from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.

Also arrested were 16 men, on suspicion of soliciting undercover deputies for sex acts, authorities said. In addition, three men were charged with felony pandering after they allegedly attempted to recruit an undercover deputy to work for them as a prostitute. The men are: Demario Bell, 27, of Moreno Valley; Damon Thomas, 25, from Los Angeles, and Damien Henry, 37, of Long Beach.

The raid was the work of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and district attorney's office, the FBI and the California Highway Patrol.

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