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Neighbors speak out following human trafficking sting in northeast Bakersfield home

BPD: Two arrested for human trafficking of a minor
Posted: 8:28 PM, Feb 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-21 03:00:49Z

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Police Department conducted an undercover operation targeting online prostitution in an attempt to identify victims of human trafficking on Tuesday, February 19.

Detectives executed a search warrant near 3400 Dartmouth Street and as a result of the investigation, two victims were located and determined to be victims of human sex trafficking.

Misty Lightner, a neighbor on Dartmouth Street, said she was shocked to learn about possible human trafficking happening in the area.

"That really hits home, because I have a niece, a 9-year-old niece that lives here and my grandson that is two. That is terrifying," said Lightner.

57-year-old Carlos Abreu and 18-year-old Sharon Cruz of Bakersfield were arrested and booked for multiple charges including human trafficking of a minor, conspiracy and maintaining a residence for prostitution.

Dustin Contreras, with the Kern Alliance Against Human Trafficking, said the home were these arrests took place would be considered a residential brothel, which he said is not typical for Kern County.

Experts say human trafficking operations in Kern County usually take place in hotels and motels.

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Detective McIntyre at (661) 326-3921.