Eight arrested in human trafficking bust in San Diego area

Eight people were arrested as part of a human trafficking sting in the San Diego area last week, California Attorney General Rob Bonda announced Monday. In addition to the arrests, authorities also recovered two ghost guns and offered services to 26 potential survivors of human trafficking. 

The so-called "Operation Home for the Holidays" took place over five days, ending Friday, Dec. 10, and was coordinated between the Attorney General's office, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force, and other local police forces in the San Diego area.

"We all deserve to have a safe place to call home during the holidays — and throughout the entire year," Bonta said in a press release. "Operation Home for the Holidays is about holding traffickers accountable and helping people extricate themselves from potentially dangerous situations." 

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During the operation, law enforcement worked undercover, responding to online advertisements for sex, looking to buy. All the women who met with undercover authorities were offered access to resources and supportive services, according to Bonda. 

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 1,500 human trafficking cases reported in California in 2019 — more than any other state in the U.S. According to the FBI, three of the top child prostitution regions nationwide are in the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco metropolitan areas. 

Bonda urges anyone who is or knows someone who may be the victim of human trafficking to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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