VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Nine men from around the Central Valley have been arrested and six women rescued as a result of a human sex trafficking operation led by several agencies, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday.
Over the week, detectives with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Unit say they, along with members of the Visalia Police Department, Tulare Police Department, and Merced County District Attorney’s Office, conducted a human sex trafficking detail in the Visalia area.
Deputies say the objective was to identify suspects who solicit women for sexual favors in exchange for money through escort services and to also contact potential victims of human trafficking and offer services and assistance to them.
According to deputies, nine men from Bakersfield, Visalia, Exter, and Woodlake were arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. They were identified as:
- 27-year-old Elijah Edwards of Visalia
- 40-year-old Ernest McCormick of Visalia
- 41-year-old Andrew Randolph of Bakersfield
- 23-year-old Jose Javier Rojas Herrera of Visalia
- 26-year-old Sergio Aguilera Vargas of Visalia
- 23-year-old Eddie Montelangoof Woodlake
- 20-year-old Ivan Silva Guzman of Visalia
- 29-year-old Kyle Adams Peterson of Visalia
- 31-year-old Jeronimo Cortez of Exeter
Tulare County Human Trafficking Detectives say they rescued six women who were victims of human trafficking and served one felony warrant.
Deputies encourage residents who might be or know someone who might be a victim of Human Trafficking to contact the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously at Tip Now at firstname.lastname@example.org or (559) 725-4194, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1(888) 373-7888.