WINTON, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A 23-year-old Winton woman was arrested on several human trafficking charges, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives said the investigation started back in Nov. 2020 when Merced County Sheriff’s Detective Martha Martinez received information about 23-year-old Deyaneira Sabrina Fernandez “pimping” a 17-year-old female juvenile from Madera.
Detective Martinez said she learned Fernandez was pimping and pandering the 17-year-old juvenile throughout the state of California as far back as September 2020.
Fernandez was arrested and booked into the Merced County jail on several charges of “pimping” and “pandering” a juvenile.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department said recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life.
Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking, according to the Merced Sherriff’s Department.
• Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
• Has a child stopped attending school?
• Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
• Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
• Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
• Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
• Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
• Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
• Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
• Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
• Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
• Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
• Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?