2 arrested on human trafficking charges, 3 missing teens found, Long Beach police say

Long Beach police arrested a man and woman on suspicion of human trafficking and found three teens who were reported to be missing, authorities announced Friday.

Mycal Ruff, 32, of Carson was taken into custody Aug. 28 on suspicion of three counts of false imprisonment and human trafficking, the Long Beach Police Department said in a news release. Dezere Romero, 21, of San Bernardino was arrested Thursday on suspicion of three counts of human trafficking and one count of prostitution, police said.

Detectives launched an investigation into the prostitution of a minor in the area near 28th Street and Pine Avenue on Aug. 13, police said. They arranged to meet with the teen and searched her phone, which led them to two other alleged victims, according to investigators.

The girls — ages 15, 16, and 17 — were reported missing from Long Beach, San Bernardino and Hemet, respectively, police said. They told investigators that Ruff had forced them to perform acts of prostitution and Romero helped manage them, police said.

Ruff was released Aug. 31 after posting $450,000 bond, jail records state. Romero remained jailed in lieu of $470,000 bail.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call the Long Beach Police Department vice detail at (562) 570-7219.