LOS ANGELES – The Latest on a human trafficking investigation in the U.S. West (all times local):
Authorities say three people have been charged with pimping eight teens for commercial sex work in a ring that operated in California, Nevada and Texas.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Thursday that 54 felony charges have been filed against Quinton Brown, Gerald Turner and Mia McNeil.
They have been charged with sex trafficking, pimping and other charges. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.
Prosecutors say eight teens between 15 and 17 years old were used in a commercial sex operation.
Investigators say the trio solicited customers from postings on the internet. They say McNeil used stolen identities to rent apartments that were used as brothels.
Authorities say McNeil has not yet been apprehended.
California law enforcement officials say they’ve made arrests in what they believe to be one of the largest human trafficking cases in the western U.S.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are expected to provide details of the probe at a news conference Thursday morning.
Authorities did not provide detailed information about the case.
But they say it involves sex, fraud and theft crimes that spanned across California, Nevada and Texas.
Investigators say the probe was launched in December 2016 after a missing person report was filed in Tulare County in central California.