ANAHEIM, Calif. – During the month of September there have been significant advances in the collaborative, multi-faceted effort to combat human trafficking through the identification, arrest and prosecution of perpetrators coupled with increased awareness of the problem in Orange County. The examples highlighted below of this highly effective model demonstrate how the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) led by the Anaheim Police Department in partnership with the Strike Out Slavery foundation have made impactful changes in the lives of victims and the fight to end human trafficking in Orange County, according to Anaheim Police Department PIO, Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
On September 7, 2017, Anaheim Police Department officers responded to a welfare check and performed a “Buy Bust” operation at a residential address in Anaheim. Officers rescued three human trafficking victims and arrested two Chinese nationals for human trafficking and pimping.
On September 8, 2017, 31-year-old San Bernardino resident John Wayne Calhoun was sentenced to 23 years to life in state prison for human trafficking, pimping, and pandering a 13-year-old girl in Orange County. His capture and arrest were a result of the Task Force’s commitment to making the identification and rescuing of juveniles their top priority.
The Strike Out Slavery campaign was announced on August 24, 2017 at Angels Stadium. Strike Out Slavery is an initiative created by Deidre Pujols, wife of Angel’s superstar Albert Pujols, created to raise awareness and funds to fight against human trafficking. Over 40,000 people attended Strike Out Slavery’s inaugural event on September 16th at the Angels game and included a check presentation of $400,000 to eight nonprofits fighting against human trafficking that was raised through a Crowdrise campaign. The game also featured family activities and informational booths from 20 anti-human trafficking organizations as well as a live postgame performance by Nick Jonas.
The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF)
OCHTTF is a partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners. To learn more about the OCHTTF, please visit https://www.egovlink.com/ochumantrafficking/
About Strike Out Slavery
Albert and Deidre Pujols created Strike Out Slavery in 2017 with the goal of raising awareness about the existence of modern-day slavery and raising funds for major organizations fighting this insidious crime internationally. Go to www.strikeoutslavery.com for more information.
(Photos courtesy Anaheim Police Department/Marianne O’Leary via Flicker)