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Federal agents in California crack down on sex trafficking

The Federal Bureau of investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice take the federal offense of human sex trafficking very seriously. Individuals convicted of the federal offense face serious consequences such as long jail terms, financial penalties and classification as a sex offender. The federal crime of human sex trafficking is generally defined as forced prostitution. The crime has been a large target of federal agents.

A federal grand jury in Southern California recently indicted several Sacramento residents for their part in an alleged sex trafficking operation. In the first case, a 31-year-old man was charged with using force to harbor, transport and maintain a person to use in a commercial sex act. The suspect was reportedly found with the victim after the Sacramento police department received a criminal complaint from the girl's sister.

In the second case, three individuals were indicted following a state and federal investigation conducted by multiple agencies. In that case, the suspects were indicted on two counts of forcing a person to engage in commercial sex acts. The defendants were also accused of producing child pornography. The individuals allegedly took pictures of the victim which they later posted on the Internet to advertise illegal services.

Federal agencies devote a considerable amount of time and energy to going after human sex traffickers. As a border state, California is considered a prime location for such an activity. Unfortunately, sometimes people get caught up in federal investigations for mere association, even when they lack knowledge of the criminal activity. If a person is caught up in a federal case, it is vital that they speak with an attorney immediately.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Four Sacramentans indicted in federal sex-trafficking cases," Sept. 12 2013

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