SANTA CLARA (BCN) — A 25-year-old man suspected of human trafficking was arrested Tuesday night in Santa Clara as a part of a weeklong sting operation, a Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman said on Thursday.
Abel Paredes was arrested without incident outside a Santa Clara hotel as part of the sheriff’s Human Trafficking Task Force undercover operation, sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Glennon said.
Paredes allegedly dropped off a 16-year-old girl who responded to a fake prostitution advertisement posted online by the task force that was looking for possible human trafficking victims, Glennon said.
The female victims entered the rooms to find counselors who encouraged them to get away from prostitution and change the course of their lives, according to Glennon.
Members of the task force set up outside saw the teenage girl who appeared underage arrive at the hotel and followed Paredes as he drove away, Glennon said.
Once investigators learned the girl was a human trafficking victim, they stopped and arrested Paredes, according to Glennon.
The 25-year-old was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose where he’s being held on $250,000 bail, according to online jail records.
Advertisements were also sent to draw in any “Johns,” a term used to describe men who pay for sex, according to Glennon.
The operation conducted Tuesday and Wednesday nights with personnel from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security led to 13 misdemeanor citations for people engaging in prostitution and another citation on a warrant, Glennon said.
Human trafficking has gained attention recently in the county, notably during Super Bowl 50 in February when then-Denver Broncos safety Ryan Murphy was questioned in a prostitution sting near Mineta San Jose
International Airport, sheriff’s officials said.
Murphy, who wasn’t arrested, was sent back to Denver before the big game, according to sheriff’s and team officials.
Any reports of human trafficking can be made to the task force at (408) 918-4960 or firstname.lastname@example.org.