Two men arrested for trying to meet a minor for sex

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Two men, each holding down professional jobs, were arrested in the latest of a series of regular sting operations carried out by detectives of the LASD’s Human Trafficking Bureau, on suspicion of arranging to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd behavior.

The suspects – a 63-year-old respiratory therapist who lives in Oak Park and a 46-year-old finance manager of Valencia – were arrested late Thursday afternoon by detectives with the specialized unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Each man was taken into custody, each with bail set at $75,000.

Thursday’s operation is third such sting operation carried out in the SCV in the last seven months.

The latest arrests bring to 10 the number of men arrested for arranging to meet a minor for sex since March.

Last week’s sting operation differed slightly from the previous operations carried out this past Spring, and involved agents of the FBI.

“They were similar operations,” Lt. Dan Stanley of the LASD’s Human Trafficking Bureau said.

Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, told The Signal Monday that the joint operation was ongoing and that details of the expanded operation would be disclosed later.

Both men arrested Thursday were scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court Monday.

In April, detectives posting online advertisements offering sex with girls aged 16 and 14 ended up arresting four men Thursday – one local, three from out of town – on suspicion of making arrangements to meet a minor for lewd behavior.

In March, detectives with the same team arrested four men – three of them residents of Newhall and a Littlerock resident, also on suspicion of making arrangements to meet a minor for lewd behavior.

The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force was launched by the LASD in November 2015 employing “a victim-centered approach to fight the heinous crime of human exploitation,” the bureau’s webpage reads.

The task force is made up of sheriff’s detectives who work with federal, state, county, and local resources to focus on sex and labor trafficking investigations.

Team members also focus on identifying and rescuing trafficking victims and work with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking to provide “victim-centered services” to meet the needs of victims, while working to investigate, arrest and prosecute offenders.

Since it was formed, the taskforce has grown to include five federal agencies, four state agencies, four county agencies, and three local policing agencies, including: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Offices of the United States Attorneys, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the County of Los Angeles Probation Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Parole Operations, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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