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33 Missing Children Rescued After Human Trafficking Operation In Los Angeles

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FBI Human Trafficking Operation Los Angels
Photo Courtesy of the FBI

Over two dozen agencies partnered in “Operation Lost Angels,” an initiative that culminated in the recovery of 33 missing children, FBI officials announced Friday.

The operation started on Jan. 11, during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, with the FBI working with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and more than two dozen law enforcement and non-governmental partners to identify, locate, and recover missing children, particularly those who have been or were suspected of being sexually exploited and/or trafficked, accoridng to the agency.

Of the 33 children recovered, eight were being sexually exploited at the time of recovery. Two were recovered multiple times during the operation while on the “track,” a common term used to describe a known location for commercial sex trafficking.

“It is not uncommon for victims who are rescued to return to commercial sex trafficking either voluntarily or by force, fraud, or coercion,” FBI officials said. “This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realize they’re being trafficked.”

Several other victims located had been sexually exploited in the past and were considered vulnerable missing children prior to their recovery. Additionally, the operation resulted in the arrest on state charges of one suspected human trafficker and the opening of multiple investigations. Some of the minor victims were arrested for probation violations, robbery, or other misdemeanors. One child was a victim of a noncustodial parental kidnapping.

The FBI caseload for both sex and labor trafficking-related crimes has increased significantly in the past several years. As of November 2020, there were more than 1,800 pending trafficking investigations, including those involving minors exploited through commercial sex trafficking.

“The FBI considers human trafficking modern-day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims,” said Assistant FBI Director Kristi K. Johnson in a statement. “While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.”

Multiple teams were assembled for this operation which were comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the California Department of Child & Family Services, and nongovernmental victim advocacy organizations.

“Human trafficking is a pervasive and insidious crime that threatens the safety of our young people, who are the future of our communities,” said Michel Moore, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department in a statement. “We can only begin to take back the future of our youth with the strong partnerships forged between outstanding service providers and law enforcement.”

In addition to recovering child victims who are missing or engaged in commercial sex trafficking or who are otherwise being exploited, the FBI and our partners provide much-needed resources to victims to ensure that their short- and long-term needs are met. Resources may include immediate medical requirements; legal services; housing; employment; education; job training; and childcare, among others.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “Collaboration with our law enforcement partners is key to ending the vicious cycle of modern-day slavery. I’m committed to doing everything we can to stop human trafficking.”

Anyone who believes they may be victims of human trafficking may call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (NHTRC) at 888-373-7888 or visit here. The NHTRC is a national, confidential, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls at all times.

Those who wish to report incidents of suspected human trafficking may call their local FBI office or local police department. For more information about the FBI’s Human Trafficking investigations, visit here.

Crime

Canoga Park Man Pleads Not Guilty To Firebombing LAPD Topanga Station

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Crime LAPD Slider

A Canoga Park man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to throwing a molotov cocktail at the Topanga Community Police Station entrance.

Jonathon Rosin, 24, faces one felony count each of the use of a destructive device and explosive to injure/destroy and arson of an inhabited structure or property, according to Ricardo Santiago, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“Everyone should feel safe in their workplace and that includes police officers,” District Attorney Gascón said in a statement. “We will not tolerate brazen acts of violence directed at anyone.”

On May 9 at around 12:55 a.m., Rosin approached the front doors of the Topanga Station at the 21500 block of Schoenborn Street, according to the Los Angeles Polie Department (LAPD).

Rosin lit a glass bottle that contained a flammable liquid and threw it at the front window. Upon contact with the window, the bottle shattered and ignited the flammable liquid, according to investigators.

The incident was witnessed by multiple LAPD personnel on the station’s CCTV system. The flames were extinguished promptly by a supervisor, police said.

Officers went in foot pursuit of Rosin eastbound on Schoenborn Street from Topanga Station. Rosin was taken into custody without incident at Canoga Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard.

“After Rosin was taken into custody officers observed that he smelled like gasoline,” said LAPD officials.

The suspect was arrested and booked for igniting an explosive, and a misdemeanor warrant.

Rosin is scheduled to return for a preliminary hearing on June 22 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

Anyone with any additional information can contact LAPD Major Crimes Division at (213) 486-7220.

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Crime

Man Arrested After Firebombing LAPD Topanga Station In Canoga Park

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Crime LAPD Slider

A man was arrested Sunday after allegedly throwing a molotov cocktail at the Topanga Community Police Station entrance.

On May 9 at around 12:55 a.m., Jonathon Rosin approached the front doors of the Topanga Station at the 21500 block of Schoenborn Street, according to the Los Angeles Polie Department (LAPD).

Rosin lit a glass bottle that contained a flammable liquid and threw it at the front window. Upon contact with the window, the bottle shattered and ignited the flammable liquid, according to investigators. 

The incident was witnessed by multiple LAPD personnel on the station’s CCTV system. The flames were extinguished promptly by a supervisor, police said. 

Officers went in foot pursuit of Rosin eastbound on Schoenborn Street from Topanga Station. Rosin was taken into custody without incident at Canoga Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard. 

“After Rosin was taken into custody officers observed that he smelled like gasoline,” said LAPD officials. 

Rosin, 24, of Los Angeles, was arrested and booked for igniting an explosive, and a misdemeanor warrant. Rosin is being held at the Van Nuys Jail on a $501,000 bail.

LAPD Major Crimes Division is handling the investigation with support from LAFD Arson Counter-Terrorism Section (ACTS).

Anyone with any additional information can contact LAPD Major Crimes Division at (213) 486-7220.

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Crime

Santa Clarita City Council To Support Sentencing Enhancements For Murder Of Michelle Dorsey

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Dorsey Family Santa Clarita Murder

The Santa Clarita Clarita City Council is set to draft a letter supporting sentencing enhancements for the murder of Michelle Dorsey. 

A five-signature letter is expected to be sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, requesting support in urging the District Attorney’s Office to file sentence enhancements in the murder of Michelle Dorsey to the “full extent allowable under state law,” according to the agenda for the May 11 meeting.

Michelle Dorsey’s estranged husband, James Mathew Dorsey, is accused of fatally stabbing the 39-year-old mother of three in her Saugus home. 

The District Attorney’s Office filed five counts against the accused murderer but did not file any sentencing enhancements, according to the City report. 

“By failing to file any sentencing enhancements, law enforcement and criminal justice officials have stated that Ms. Dorsey’s accused murderer potentially faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” the agenda reads. 

If sentence enhancements were applied, consistent with state law and findings related to the murder of Michelle Dorsey, including special circumstances of lying in wait and murder committed in the attempt to kidnap, the potential maximum sentence for the accused murderer could be a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the report. 

As part of the series of special directives, unilaterally adopted in December 2020, District Attorney George Gascon issued Special Directive 20-08, restricting prosecutors from filing a range of sentence enhancements. 

Specifically, Special Directive 20-08 restricts the filing of any prior-strike enhancements, including the Three Strikes Law; gang-related enhancements; violations of bail; and Special Circumstances allegations resulting in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The City Council adopted a resolution of a vote of no confidence in District Attorney Gascon on March 9, citing significant concerns and opposition to some of the special directives adopted in December 2020, including Special Directive 20-08.

A GoFundMe has been created to support the Dorsey boys, ages 13, 11 and 9.

“Please help the Dorsey/Smith/Jordan family during this difficult time,” wrote Dayna Reed. “All donations will go to the boys and any extra costs the family will be accruing at this time.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Please keep their families in your prayers.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit here.

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