Tulare County undercover operations saves woman from human trafficking

Local News

A multi-agency human trafficking undercover operation saves an 18-year-old woman and puts two people behind bars.
Detectives ran two undercover operations on Saturday, the first operation detectives set up fake advertisements on known prostitution sites looking for the johns.

It didn’t take them long to nab an alleged customer.
According to detectives, Josafat Gutierrez, 44, from Hanford was booked into the Tulare County jail for allegedly soliciting an undercover officer.

“He was soliciting our undercover…having our undercover provide services. So he drove from Hanford to Tulare County thinking he was going to meet our undercover for services and at that point he was arrested,” Tulare County Sheriff Lieutenant Joe Torres said.

Detectives changing their style of investigation on their second sting operation of the night, their goal was to try saving a victim from human trafficking.

Torres said it makes detectives jobs a little more difficult while trying to find those victims online.

Investigators were able to set up a location to meet the human trafficking victim and her alleged pimp.

Kenneth Bryson, 35, Elk Grove was arrested on the suspicion of pimping and could face more charges for human trafficking.

“Anytime you have the ability to rescue one person. One person to rescue somebody who is not even from your county. Who you have no idea they’re on the map is an absolute success because if she wasn’t rescued here, or caught here, or discovered here. She might have never been rescued,” Torres said.

Debra Rush, founder of Breaking the Chains said most of these victims who are being trafficked don’t have anywhere to go.

“Most of the individuals that we see coming out of trafficking, their core vulnerabilities is that they have no relationship with anybody outside the trafficking circle,” she said.

Rush’s organization focused on helping these women with education, housing and trauma counsling.
The same organization helping Dominique Brown, a survivor of human trafficking.

” Having those types of resources and having somebody you can rely on know that they are there. They go your back,” Brown said.

If you know someone who is being trafficked, you can reach out to Breaking the Chains. 1-888-858-2021

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