Ten people were arrested in a human trafficking operation in San Joaquin County with the help of a Stockton business owner, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
Two people - an adult female and a juvenile female - were rescued in the effort to combat online sex trafficking on the first day they were forced into sex against their will, according to the sheriff’s office.
The name of, or the role played by, the area business owner was not given.
Law enforcement contacted more than 125 people over the internet in the operation. The arrests happened on March 3 in an unincorporated area of San Joaquin County.
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Among the arrests from the operation:
- Richard Warden, 72, who was charged with contacting and arranging to meet a minor 14 years or younger for the intent to commit a sex offense.
- Daqueri Bushu, 34, who was charged with contacting and arranging to meet a minor 14 years or younger for the intent to commit a sex offense.
- Eric Hernandez, 18, who was charged with human trafficking of a minor, pimping, and pandering.
- Brittany Knapp, 27, who was charged with supervising prostitution.
"Sex trafficking is extremely prevalent here in the Valley, and the Sheriff's Office as well as the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office have taken a very tough stance to combat and eradicate child trafficking in San Joaquin County," Deputy Dave Konecny, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, told The Record newspaper of Stockton.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office worked with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, the Stockton’s Women’s Center, the Manteca Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.
Jennifer Jones, CEO of the Women's Center, told The Record the latest arrests were part of the second or third sting operation that has involved the nonprofit agency.
No further details were given on the operation and arrests.