Three Suspects Charged With 54 Felonies In Massive West Coast Sex Trafficking Ring
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with the sheriffs of Los Angeles and Tulare counties, announced on Thursday the filing of 54 felony charges against three individuals involved in one of the largest human sex trafficking cases on the West Coast.
Quinton Brown, Gerald Lavell Turner, and Mia McNeil are accused of operating a sex ring that involved minors, and spanned California, Nevada, and Texas. Brown, 30, and Turner, 32, are currently in custody, while McNeil is still at large.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department received a tip in January of a missing girl from Tulare County living in a West Hollywood apartment. Upon entering the apartment, the sheriff's deputies discovered the minor along with two adults, and began learning of other sex trafficking victims. The six month investigation has led to the rescue of 13 minors and about 200 adults.
Brown, Turner, and McNeil are being charged with sex trafficking, pimping, pandering, grand theft and identity theft.
As the Times adds, Brown and Turner advertised and sold at least 13 women for sex over the internet, and even had sex with some of the minors. McNeil is accused of using stolen identities to lease apartments in Chatsworth, Bakersfield, and West Hollywood for use as brothels, and for purchasing vehicles to transport the victims.
Victims were between the ages of 15 and 21.
“These charges stem from the hard work of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, and the California Department of Justice attorneys and Special Agents," Becerra said during Thursday's press conference. "I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts over the course of this six-month investigation to bring these defendants to justice.”