Two Arrested For Human Trafficking, Additional Victims Sought
2013-05-28 · By Editor
The Long Beach Police Department has made two human trafficking arrests after an in-depth investigation involving three victims, and detectives believe other victims may exist.
On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at approximately 11:55 p.m. Long Beach Police were contacted by the Hawthorne Police Department regarding two adult females who had escaped from a suspect who had kidnapped them in Long Beach and were forcing them to perform acts of prostitution. The two victims had escaped their captor while in Culver City, and were able to make their way to Hawthorne where they contacted authorities.
The Long Beach Police Department immediately initiated an in-depth, multi-day investigation, learning that one of the two victims had been held against her will for as long as approximately four months. During the time they were held, they were forced to perform acts of prostitution throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and one of them was sexually assaulted by one of the suspects. The investigation also led Long Beach Police to the City of Inglewood, where they located a 16-year-old female victim who was found at a motel.
Through their investigation, detectives were able to identify two suspects who were subsequently taken into custody after a traffic stop on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at approximately 7:00 p.m. in the area of Pine Avenue and Bay Street in Long Beach. They are identified as 22-year-old Lebrette Winn, and 24-year-old Eric Avery, both Long Beach residents. On Monday, May 20, 2013, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed nine felony counts against Defendant Winn, and two felony counts against Defendant Avery. Those charges include human trafficking, pimping, pandering, mayhem, kidnapping, and other charges relating to sexually based offenses. They will appear for their preliminary hearing on June 4, 2013, in Long Beach Superior Court.
Detectives believe that other victims may exist and are hoping they will come forward.
The results of this investigation can be attributed to the joint efforts between detectives in the Vice Investigations Detail, the Sex Crimes Detail, the Juvenile Investigations Section, and patrol officers, followed by several days of relentless follow-up investigation. The Long Beach Police Department is committed to combating human trafficking and will continue to work with law enforcement partners to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.
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.