Crime

Ventura police arrest three men suspected in local human trafficking case

Ventura police arrested three Fresno...

VENTURA, Calif. - When Ventura Police received a call from the National Human Trafficking Center hotline early Saturday morning they went in search of a victim.

They found her hiding near a hotel in the area of Victoria Ave and Valentine Rd.

Patrol officers said they located a 17-year-old victim who told them she was forced into prostitution in San Diego before arriving in Ventura.

The victim told officers men who threatened her if she did not comply checked into a room at the La Quinta Inn on Valentine Road.

Ventura's Street Crimes Unit and Major Crimes Detectives went to work with members of the Ventura County Human Trafficking Enforcement Team.

While the teen was taken to a safe house, detectives said they observed three men at the hotel.

At around 10:30 a.m. officers said they left in car that other patrol officers were watching.

A high-risk enforcement stop led to the arrest of Brian Kattrel Lewis, 21, Dashawn Marquese Jackson, 18, and Dameon Rasheed Howard, 20 years, from Fresno.

Officers said they also found a loaded handgun in the car.

Detectives said they talked to two women from Fresno in the suspect's hotel room who denied any involvement.

The men were booked in the Ventura County Main Jail on felony human trafficking and conspiracy charges. Brian Lewis is also facing a weapons charge.

Anyone with information about this crime please contact the Ventura Police Major Crimes Unit at 339-4465.  An anonymous tip can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. 

If you know of anyone who may be a victim of human trafficking please contact the National Human Trafficking Center hotline at 888-373-7888.


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