Suspect Arrested For Human Trafficking
2014-02-14 · By Editor
The Long Beach Police Department has conducted an investigation, which resulted in the arrest of a male adult for a variety of charges related to human sex trafficking.
On February 3, 2014, at approximately 4:30 p.m., patrol officers responded to a call of a male chasing a female with a hammer in the area of 60th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Officers found the distraught adult female victim in a nearby parking lot, and began their investigation. The officers learned that the 24-year-old victim had been assaulted by her assailant, and was an apparent victim of human trafficking under his control.
The victim stated to officers that the suspect had befriended her six months prior, and initially treated her like a girlfriend. However, he later forced her into prostitution against her will, and verbally and physically abused her, repeatedly.
Vice detectives responded and continued with the investigation and arrested the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Edward Watson of Compton, the following day, February 4, 2014, in the area of 60th Street and Atlantic Avenue.
At the time of his arrest, he was accompanied by another adult female. Evidence collected suggests the second female was voluntarily working as a prostitute for suspect Watson.
On February 6, 2014, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed the following counts against Defendant Watson: one count of human trafficking, one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of pandering, and two counts of pimping. He is expected to appear in court tomorrow, Thursday, February 13th, and could face a maximum of 46 years and 8 months in prison if convicted.
This joint effort between patrol officers and vice detectives to rescue young girls and women from being forced into a life of prostitution is another example of the Long Beach Police Department’s commitment toward the eradication of human trafficking.
Anyone who is, or has been a victim of human trafficking is urged to come forward by contacting the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice Investigations Detail at (562) 570-7219. Any victim in need of resources is also encouraged to contact detectives. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.