BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A man was found guilty of trafficking minors among other charges by a Kern County jury on Monday, November 21st.
Kajuan Richardson was convicted of possession of obscene matter of a minor, pimping, and three counts of human trafficking of a minor. Richardson was also convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession for sale of Cannabis. Richardson was also found to have been convicted of human trafficking before in Orange County and was sentenced to eight years in state prison. He was released on Post Release Community Supervision by the California Department of Corrections in October 2020.
According to officials, Richardson used an illegal drug operation to lure minors into his sex trafficking operation. From November 2021 until February 2022, he would use the social media app Snapchat to sell drugs in many Bakersfield areas, including local high schools. Richardson would use the drugs to become familiar with his victims before using websites to sell them online or at local motels. The minors involved ranged from ages 14 to 17. There was also a 20-year-old victim.
An investigation was started in October 2021 after Kern High School District Officer Ruan Calderon informed Detective Meghan Hylton-Reed of the Kern County Sheriff's Office about a student involved with Richardson. Reed's investigation discovered Richardson's drug and sex trafficking operation, as well as multiple victims. He was then arrested in February.
“Human traffickers prey on women and children, create misery and exploit people for money gain," said District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer. "Richardson, who already had been caught and convicted on a previous trafficking case, targeted children to be sexually abused and sold for profit. We will not allow our children to be taken into sexual slavery, and traffickers will face the harshest penalties the law provides for these atrocious crimes.”
Sentencing will take place on December 16th at the Kern County Superior Court.